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.
Nothofagus dombeyi
Dombey's southern beech

Tag 657
54 deg 34.912N
5 deg 55.828W

Introduced in 1916 from South Central Andes where it may form mixed populations with the Monkey puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana), this evergreen Southern Beech is vigorous and attains a considerable size in Ireland. It is rare except in the largest gardens. A huge example may be seen in Rowallane Gardens that was probably planted soon after its introduction into cultivation. It can eventually reach 40 metres in height. The leaves are small, dark green and shiny on the top surface and matt green and black speckled on the underside. The trees in both Belfast Botanic Gardens and Rowallan survived untouched by the severe winter frosts of 2009 and 2010. The specimen in Belfast Botanic Gardens is close to the path from the Botanic Primary School to the PEC.

Nothofagus dombeyi in Belfast Botanic Gardens

Nothofagus dombeyi in Rowallane Garden

Young Dombey's Southern Beech in Belfast Botanic Gardens Mature Dombey's beech in Rowallane Gardens (National Trust)

Leaves of Nothofagus dombeyi

bark of young Nothofagus dombeyi

Foliage of Dombey's Beech Smooth trunk of young Dombey's beech, Belfast Botanic Gardens

Additional information on the tree in its native habitat may be found at www.chileflora.com

Photos taken in Belfast Botanic Gardens in 2011. Copyright: Friends of Belfast Botanic Gardens.

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