Ilkeston - The Trees Of Victoria Park
w/e 20 September 2009
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

The Trees Of Victoria Park

Since uploading Part 01 of this series I have resolved the discrepancies between the numbers shown on a Council leaflet and the information posts adjacent to the trees in the park. See the Introduction for more.

Part 02 - On the Bristol Road side (Top half)

Bristol Road forms one side of the triangle of roads around Victoria Park and runs from the junction with Drummond Road downhill to its junction with Manners Road. There are eleven notable trees on this side of the park and in this part we will concentrate on six of them towards the top end of the slope.

Bristol Road

Originally the park was bounded by cast iron railings and access gates but now access is possible at all points of its perimeter. We'll begin this part though with a view over the welcoming flowerbed down Bristol Road at the main Drummond Road/Bristol Road entrance.
Copper Beech

Slightly to the left of the Bristol Road view is the first tree of note in this section. From here on, I will add an identification to each tree in the format (L-/P-) where L refers to the leaflet number and P is the identification post number. This first tree then is a Copper Beech (L-/P7) and shows the first discrepancy between the two as it is not mentioned on the leaflet. The Copper Beech is a cultivar of the Beech tree which means it is a cultivated plant that has been selected and given a unique name because of desired characteristics, in this case the purple coloured leaves. It is a deciduous tree that can grow up to 40m high.
London Plane

London Plane trunkFollowing a path through the park, the next tree of note to be identified is a London Plane (L7/P8). The variety of the Plane tree took the name London from the fact that it was planted in the streets and parks of the capital about two hundred years ago. The London Plane is noted for having a smooth bark and where patches of the bark peel off, it displays a camouflaged appearance. In this particular example of a London Plane in Victoria Park this was not particularly evident (left). London Planes are also responsible for allergic reactions in some people due to hairs that are shed by both the leaves and bobble like fruit.
Horse Chestnut

Our next tree is probably one of the most easily recognisable especially by every schoolboy in the land. The Horse Chestnut (L8/P9) which produces clusters of fragrant flowers in the early summer that are often referred to as candles was introduced to Britain in the seventeenth century.

But it is even more well known for its spiny autumn fruits known as conkers. The game of conkers evolved from a game called conquerors. This was originally played with snail or conch shells, conch being the French word derived from the Greek for any kind of shellfish or their shells. Each October the World Conker Championships are held at Ashton in Northamptonshire and are hosted by the Ashton Conker Club.
Silver Birch

Another easily recognisable tree from the colour of its bark is the Silver Birch (L-/P10) evident above in the right hand picture of the tree. The left hand picture is the same tree seen from the opposite side. Interestingly the Silver Birch is the national tree of Finland and occasionally boughs of the tree are used in saunas to beat oneself - presumably by Finnish masochists.
Hybrid Cockspur Thorn

HybirdAt only 6m high when fully grown the Hybrid Cockspur Thorn (L9/P11), a member of the Hawthorn family, is one of the smallest trees in Victoria Park and this example is only about one third of that height. Situated where it is and surrounded and somewhat overshadowed by neighbouring trees made getting a decent photo of it difficult. It may be easier when the glossy green leaves turn dark red as we get further into autumn or in spring when covered with attractive white flowers but I don't suppose the engraved plaque (right) on the information post that states that the tree is "Hybird" will change soon.
Tree Of Heaven

You may have noticed in a couple of the previous images that the grass was being mowed whilst I was taking the photos and regular mowing is essential to prevent the final tree in this section from spreading as it is known for Half Way Downproducing suckers from its roots. It is a fast growing tree that secretes allelopathic chemicals preventing other trees from growing nearby and is called the Tree Of Heaven (L10/P12). I don't recollect ever having smelled burnt peanut butter but apparently that is what the attractive leaves and flowers of this tree resemble.

At this point we have reached the approximate halfway point down Bristol Road (right) and will will return in October to continue to the Manners Road junction.

Back to Part 1
The Trees of Victoria Park Index
Forward to Part 3

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