Belfast Botanic Gardens Tree Archive

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This series of short articles about trees in the Belfast Botanic Gardens is compiled by members of the Friends group and Gardens staff. We aim to build up to a comprehensive archive of trees in Belfast Botanic Gardens. Each article illustrates a tree growing in Belfast Botanic Gardens together with information from a range of sources. Where possible we will give the tree tag number - these are the small aluminium discs, usually fixed on the tree trunk, 2 to 3m above ground level.
Aesculus hippocastanum and Aesculus x carnea
Horse chestnut and red horse chestnut

Tag 347/349
54deg 34.868N
5deg 55.965W
There are some significant specimens of horse chestnuts in Belfast Botanic Gardens. Along the western edge of the gardens (Colenso Parade) there are fine specimens of the white-flowered horse chestnut - the conker tree of childhood. This tree is native to Greece and was introduced into Western Europe some time after 1600.

In the area to the side of the Tropical Ravine is a collection of the red horse chestnuts. Most of these are probably the hybrid H. x carnea. This is a cross between the white horse chestnut and the red buckeye (A. pavia). Buckeyes (Aesculus species) may be seen elsewhere in the Gardens and are the subject of a separate entry.

Horse chestnuts in the UK are currently under threat from two new diseases, one of which is a bleeding canker caused by a Phytophora fungus similar to that causing the sudden oak death and the other is a leaf miner.

Aesculus hippocastanum

Aesculus hippocastanum flowers

Large horse chestnut on boundary of gardens. Flower of horse chestnut

Aesculus x carnea in Belfast Botanic Gardens

Aesculus x carnea flowers

Red horse chestnuts near Tropical Ravine Flower of red horse chestnut

Bleeding canker on Aesculus

Leaf scar of Aesculus sp

Bleeding canker on horse chestnut trunk Horseshoe-shaped leaf scar on horse chestnut branch
Photos taken in Belfast Botanic Gardens in 2009 and 2010. Copyright: Friends of Belfast Botanic Gardens.

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