Unusual Trees to Look Out for (6)

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Taxodium distichum, Swamp or Bald Cypress 165/9

Meaning: Yew-like, two ranks (referring to leaf arrangement)

Do you think all conifers are evergreen?  Think again.  This one’s deciduous, dropping its leaves in late November or December and being fully back in leaf around June.  There’s a handsome stand of half-a-dozen mature examples in the arboretum at Jodrell Bank.  This North American native was introduced in 1640; one of the largest British examples is at Syon House, Brentford, Middlesex, and measured 90’ x 14’-9” in 1968.  It was planted in 1750.  Our Manchester example here is just off Old Birley Street in Hulme, on vacant land opposite ASDA.  It’s clearly kept in gaol for its own good, but a rogue sycamore maple has found its way into the same cell.  The winter photo was taken in February 2010, the summer one in  May.

Daniel King

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