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Most people would assume that the trees along the capital's streets are London planes. That's what street trees are?
In fact, the magnificently green streets of London are in no way a monoculture – these days over 100 different species of tree grace its streets, from flowering fruit trees in Islington to giant redwoods in Edgware and even London's first olive tree in Hackney.
Every London borough is different. There are indeed plane trees that go back to the building of the Embankment in the nineteenth century – but also new species around the capital that wonderfully reflect its modern multicultural vibrancy. Do you know why there are Australian silver wattle and bottlebrush trees on the streets of Pimlico? Until now there has been no book on this remarkable phenomenon.
Published to coincide with London Tree Week – and the trees coming back into leaf – Paul Wood's endlessly fascinating guide is sure to make everyone in London look at their own street in a new way.
Paul Wood writes the popular and unique blog on street trees, The Street Tree. He is also a Trustee of the London Wildlife Trust, and lives in London.
"This is a useful book [...] that just about fits into my large jacket pocket and attempts to introduce readers to the various species and cultivars of street trees throughout London. Parks and open spaces are excluded but there is more than enough material of interest to cover, The photographs are generally excellent and show the trees in their urban context rather than close ups of flowers, leaves, bark etc, so this book is definitely not intended to be a field guide. [...] If you are looking for a general interest festive stocking-filler, this book will certainly merit inclusion."
– Clive Herbert, The London Naturalist 97, 2018
"[...] Criticisms? Few. Despite the subtitle, if you want an ID guide to street trees using key features, this is not it (although, since a location for every species is precisely documented, it could be used as a substitute). Also, as a taxonomist, I would have preferred a taxonomic, not an alphabetical, listing of the species. But these are quibbles. This book gave me insights both into trees and into their place in the London scene. It is very defnitely a worthy celebration of the urban forest."
– Ros Bennett, British Wildlife 28(6), August 2017