The list below is of the tree types just in the public spaces of the HRA “territory”, though including the park in Valentia Road – as that is at the end of Finch Close and Brookside gardens. So, the area bounded by Old Road, Valentia Road, London Road, and Lime Walk, but including Nursery Close and All Saints churchyard. There’s also an HRA “pan handle” along Old Road to the traffic lights at the Windmill Road junction. There are very many other fine and interesting trees in front gardens and behind fences and walls, but these are not included – it’s just public space trees. There are 29 different trees in all.
Alder, Italian Like our native Alder it is a deciduous tree with cones. However, the leaves are more heart shaped like Lime tree leaves and id does not need to be in damp soil near a river. Middle of Stapleton Rd. and also in Latimer Rd. Rather misplaced in Stapleton Rd., as really too big for being so close to houses.
Apple, crab Wild and Japanese variants. E.g. Stapleton Road
Apple, pillar This sometimes has small fruits like a Crab Apple, but they look much more like a mini version of normal apples. Very upward pointing branches. It has particularly attractive red leaves in autumn. Several in Stapleton & Bickerton Rds.
Ash Common native tree, several in the Valentia Road park
Beech Some very good examples on the London Road, in the open ground in front of the students' residence named after the trees.
Bhutan Pine A very pretty pine tree behind the Beeches mentioned above. It has long soft and hanging needles. They grow in clusters of five, unlike most Pines where the needles are in pairs.
Black Locust (aka False Acacia) A tree with two names, neither make much sense! A lovely specimen of this tree at the end of Barrington Close. Some good examples in Latimer Rd. in front of Latimer Grange as well. Looks superficially like an Ash tree, but the leaves are rounded, not pointed, and the edges plain not serrated.
Cherry Wild, and other types probably, e.g. Stapleton Road
Cherry, Bird All Saints churchyard. Always fruits
Cockspur Thorn (or American Hawthorn) This is a Crataegus like the Hawthorn, but is a variant from the USA. Unlike the native Hawthorn, which has deep and pointed lobes, this has pointed elliptical leaves, with serrated edges like a cherry. A nice tree that stays small, with attractive berries, and which seems resilient to city life. Several in Bickerton and Stapleton Road, on the right as you walk down the hill. Many different hybrids available, to precise identification very difficult.
Cypress Only one of these in public space, in Nursery Close, probably not a Leylandii, but exact type hard to tell.
Downy Birch A close relative of the Silver Birch, see below, but with less hanging branches and more rounded rather than triangular leaves. Most of the smaller silver barked trees in Stapleton Road, and the one at the end of Barrington Close, are Downy Birch.
Hazel A very fine Hazel tree on the pavement at the junction of Old Road with Windmill Road. (Just in the HRA territory!) Lots of nuts in 2018. Hazels are normally shrubs, and are in hedges all over Headington. When a tree like this they’re sometimes called Turkish Hazel.
Hawthorn Normally found in hedges, but can be grown as a small tree. Some examples in Bickerton/Stapleton/Latimer Rds. Does not seem to be as tough as it’s cousin the Cockspur Thorn mentioned above.
Hornbeam Three young trees planted on the semi-public space by the student residence at the corner of Latimer Road/London Road. Also, a more mature example at the Old Road end of Bickerton Rd. (This one not fully in a public space.)
Laburnum Most of the examples of these are in front gardens, but there is one in public space in Nursery Close
Lime Apart from the All Saints churchyard, there are none in Lime Walk, but there are very many in other parts of Highfield, e.g. in Latimer Road opposite the Beeches student residence. It's the most common public space tree in this part of Headington.
Magnolia Many examples in front gardens, but there is one in public space in Nursery Close.
Maple, Field Several good examples of this native British tree in the Valentia Road park.
Maple There are some examples of Maples (Acer) which are neither the native Field Maple nor Sycamore. E.g. the ends of Barrington Close and Nursery Close. Most probably hybrids of Japanese Maple types.
Oak, Red A very fine example in the Valentia Road park. Unlike the native oak, the leaves are larger, and the lobes fewer, much deeper, and pointed.
Pine, Scots There are many fine Pines in the grounds of the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, but there are a couple in the public space by the Old Road entrance.
Purple leaf cherry/plum Several of these Prunus trees about the place, e.g. Latimer Rd.. Every alternate tree in Gipsy Lane is also one. These are cherries, but some may be plum. Unless they fruit, which they rarely do, it's hard to tell apart.
Rowan Not many of these classic street trees in Highfield. End of Nursery Close and All Saints churchyard the only ones, I think.
Silver birch Very similar to the Downy Birch mentioned above. The best example is at the end of Nursery Close. There’s one in Stapleton Rd. near All Saints Road. The tree on All Saints Rd. South side opposite Barrington Close is also a Silver Birch, whereas the silver barked tree on the right as you go into Barrington is a Downy Birch.
Sycamore This very common type of Maple tree is frequent just outside the Highfield area on the Old Road campus, but there are some in the Valentia Road park.
Walnut Very hard to find - it's in a street you are very unlikely to walk along. A bit marginal as, it’s half on public space, half in a garden, right on the border. (Brookside)
Whitebeam, common The top end of Stapleton has a couple of examples. This has flowers in spring, and often small red fruits in summer. The leaves are pointed, dull green above, and distinctly white and “furry” underneath.
Willow A few in the Valentia Rd park, presumably remaining from when the brook (Boundary Brook) was above ground along here.
As well as these trees, it’s worth noting some that we don’t have, which include some classics that you would have thought we did – English Oak, Horse Chestnut, Copper Beach, and Poplar for example. However, there are many fine examples of these nearby – e.g. among the trees on the south side of Old Road, and there are some lovely Poplars at the corner of Old Road and Gipsy Lane.
September 2018 Click here for details of the City Councils' Tree Policy