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Yews, Oaks, Cedars & Horsechestnuts


By balcony


After reading Hywel’s blog on a Yew tree I decided I would go out & take some photos of some Yew trees here in Huntingdon. (Not in cemeteries though!)

I mentioned in a reply on his blog that there was one in the local Sainsburys supermarket carpark. The carpark had been built around the poor tree. As the tree’s base is at least 50cm above ground level it’s obvious they had lowered the ground level when building the carpark.

Here is the Yew

Just last week we saw an exposition of the local council’s plans for redeveloping the carpark & petrol station. They plan to dig it all up & built a multistorey carpark as well as remaking some of the existing carpark. As the proposed redevelopment will also modify the supermarket’s frontage as well it will probably entail cutting the tree down. That would be a shame but looking at it a little more closely, when I took the photo, I realized it seems to be dying anyway.

Here are a few more Yew trees I found though none are as impressive as Hywel’s.

This was one of the biggest I found on my journey to take a photo of a big Cedar tree that stands alone in field.

There are 100s of them in Huntingdon, there’s even a sort of hedge made of them as well that must be more than a 100 years old

This is the Cedar tree I went to photograph &, except for the Yew at Sainsburys’ carpark, all the other pictures here were “incidental”, by that I mean I didn’t set out to take these photos, they “presented themselves” to me as I was on my there or on my way back home.

Here is the same Cedar in close up:

Unfortunately the poor tree has been badly treated & will never look very good.

The following two Cedars are in the grounds of what used to be Huntingdon hospital before it was moved a mile or two up the road to its present location on the old Hinchingbrooke Estate. The hospital was later modified & an enormous extension built on the back & now it’s a retirement home.

The tree is in magnificent isolation as you can appreciate in the photo above. The landscape around reminds me very much of the landscapes created by Constanty Brown but a quick investigation on the web didn’t turn up his handiwork on the Hinchingbrooke Estate. I found a list of “gardens” he made but Huntingdon doesn’t figure on his “Curriculum”.

Here is a photo of another Cedar that, unfortunately, has been badly “pruned” with Hinchingbrooke house just behind it though here you can´t see the house.

Again the same tree as above only close up:

Here are some more Cedar trees:

The two Cedars that follow are in the grounds of some retirement homes.

The Oak Trees I photographed on the same day as the rest of the trees in this blog are really magnificent examples of what they can do if left to grow without interference from Man! These 3 are all in the old Hinchingbrooke Estate grounds. The top two are very close to the HQs of the Police & Fire Brigade. The bottom one was a very, very tree with a tremendous girth though I don’t know what species of Oak it is.

I got up very close & took the following picture of its trunk:

As I was returning home I saw the long row of really ancient Horsechestnut trees.

They don’t look like much in the winter but in May they are the most spectacular sight. They are all more than 100 years old & must have been planted along a road that led up to the house, why would an avenue of trees be planted otherwise?

I could have taken more pictures of some of the magnificent trees on the old Hinchingbrooke Estate grounds but it was a cold day & I needed to get back home.

Hope you enjoy my winter’s day excursion of some of the magnificent trees to be found in Huntingdon.

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Hi Balcony, I used to deliver in Huntingdon and recognise some of these places. Lovely old trees! :~))

18 Dec, 2009


Thank you for showing these trees. It's a pitty they get in the way sometimes, but I suppose we need fire stations, car parks etc in order to live our modern lives. It's good that sometimes more trees are planted to replace the old ones that are chopped down.
I wouldn't say the yew tree I wrote about was spectacular. It seems to have suffered like some of the ones you show here. I hope to find out some of it's history if I can after the holiday period.

19 Dec, 2009


Hi Balcony, I also did a blog on the ancient yew of Lychett Matravers back in November 2008. This is a interesting blog and you have some lovely old Cedars in the area

19 Dec, 2009


Very interesting.... enjoyed all the photos...
and your captions and explanations... Thank you...:o)

19 Dec, 2009


interesting blog.......

19 Dec, 2009


Hi Bluespruce & thank you for your comments. I had a look at your log entry - very interesting Yew tree there!

I would never have imagined that you had been delivering here in Huntingdon, Ian! there are one or two building that are instantly recognisable - Hinchingbrooke House being a big old house & very distinctive as well.

Hywel I must agree with you about needing these places in our modern world but the way they butcher some trees & cut down other mature trees just for light is a real shame. In the street where I live there were some form of Maple planted around 50+ years ago in a double line along about half the street. At least 8 of these trees were cut down. When I got up in the morning about 7.30 two years ago I heard the sound of chain saws. I couldn't locate them at first & when I did I saw a crew of blokes cutting the branches from the trees & thought that was all they were doing but when I got home from work I saw they had cut down several of the trees. Over the next couple of days they finished cutting down a whole row of these trees, only the inner of the two survived. I could have cried! No exaggeration!

Thanks for you kind comments, TT! :-)

19 Dec, 2009


Yes Balcony, local authorities are all to quick to removes trees these days

19 Dec, 2009


Oh that's sad about the trees. Sometimes they just seem to do something without thinking of alternatives

19 Dec, 2009


I probably have a photo on my computer of what the street used to look like a few years ago & what it looks like now.

In the Town Park there were a lot of Acers,also planted more than 50 years ago. As they overshadowed a path they cut them all back about two years ago as well. That was perhaps more understandable as the poor street lights were too weak & far apart to illuminate the path much & therefore could constitute a public safety hazard. But the trees in the street here can't be said to constitute any such hazard. In any case they could have polled them. Then the new growth could have been cut back every few years. It would have had the effect of lightening the area but no, out with the chainsaw & off with their heads!!! Lol!

19 Dec, 2009


Councils often take the easy way out unfortunately

19 Dec, 2009


Thanks for an interesting blog

19 Dec, 2009


Glad you liked it! I took a couple of photos this afternoon of the street. One from "below" looking up towards the block of flats where I live & the other from "above" looking down the street from the flats. There's only an hour or so between the photos but the difference in lighting is great! The 2nd is much darker than the 1st!

In the 1st photo the stumps are clearly visible as they are about 50cm above the ground.

19 Dec, 2009


I enjoyed this interesting blog I live on a main road but there are three rows of trees going the full length of the road.I am not sure what trees they are but they look great in the summer.

19 Dec, 2009


Glad you enjoyed the blog, Mavisc. It can often be difficult to identify trees planted by the local authorities unless a name tag is left on them, but then again that would only be for young trees recently planted. If the trees have been planted for many years then the task is much more difficult.

20 Dec, 2009

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