Part of my John Muir Award was that I was going to learn tree identification, or get better at it I mean. After a few months of trying and not really getting that far I decided something had to be done.

So I’ve bought this book. Something I never thought I’d be spending money on. Having said that, I have really enjoyed getting to grips with the more common, native trees around my patch and in Holyrood Park. To really get myself into it I’ve made myself a Tree List. It works just the same as my Bird Lists, but they are trees, and I don’t record the date because a tree that I see on the 29th of April is almost certainly going to be there whenever I next look.

I’ve gone out a couple times now, looking specifically at trees. I’ve taken a lot of pictures and had a few moments where I’ve IDed trees without the help if the book, and that’s felt good. 

All this interest in trees found me asking dad if we can go and see the tallest conifer in Europe when we’re on holiday in Findhorn, as it’s not far away; just along the road west of Inverness. So I’m looking forward to that.

Before I show you my tree list I should explain, trees only go on my list if I can pretty reliably identify them when they are in front of me.

My tree list:

Scot’s Pine, Spinus sylvestris

Common Beech, Fagus sylvatica

Common Hawthorn, Crataegus monogyna

Sycamore, Acer pseudoplatanus

Common Yew, Taxus baccata

Common Ash, Fraxinus excelsior

Elder, Sambucus nigra

Common Alder, Alnus glutinosa

Silver Birch, Betula pendula

Monkey Puzzle, Araucaria araucana

Wych Elm, Ulmus glabra

Horse Chestnut, Aesculus hippocastanum

Blackthorn, Prinus spinosa

Cherry Laurel, Prunus laurocerasus

That’s it so far. Just 14 species but that’s more than I could ID before purchasing that heavy book. I’m close to being able to ID and find some sort of Lime tree but I can’t work out what species in particular. I’ll try to update this list as much as I update my Year List, which isn’t that often but I’ll try my best to remember.

  Monkey Puzzle in someone’s garden behind an unidentified conifer.

Edit: the one in front is Western Hemlock


Common Ash


 Common Hawthorn


 Common Beech


 Horse Chestnut



 Cherry Laurel


 I’m lucky to have some of the oldest trees in Edinburgh on my patch.  Pretty much all of them are native, and a few are well naturalised such as Sycamore and Horse Chestnut.


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