Trees and Lawns

Coronation Clump

This ring of trees, consisting of chestnuts and maples was planted to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

Diamond Jubilee Trees

On 8 March 2013, the Curators of the University Parks invited each of the six Heads of Oxford University’s Permanent Private Halls to plant a tree to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Six young tulip trees (Liriodendron tulipifera) were planted in a 20m circle. The true beauty of the six trees will not be seen for around 60 years when the trees will merge together.

At the centre of the tulip tree ring a Magnolia 'Star Wars' (Magnolia lilliflora x M.campbellii) is planted. This was chosen because Liriodendron and Magnolia are in the same plant family (Magnoliiaceae). It flowers when young with pink and fragrant blossoms in April and May. It will take between 10 to 20 years before the tulip trees begin to produce flowers.

Japanese Pagoda Tree

Sophora japonica (now known as Styphnolobium japonicum), more commonly known as the Japanese pagoda tree, is actually native to China. This tree was planted in 1888 making it one of the Parks oldest specimens. In 1936 its girth was recorded as 6ft 6ins (1.98m) and it is now over 10ft 5ins (3.17m). It produces creamy yellow flowers in July which are the source of the transparent pigment Imperial Yellow.

Tulip Tree and Bean Tree Avenue

The tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) produces striking yellow-green, tulip-shaped flowers which open in June and July. It’s a deciduous tree, normally growing between 70 to 150 feet (21 to 46 metres), although the Parks’ thin soil means they are unlikely to reach such heights. Its yellow foliage turns brown in autumn.

The Indian bean tree (Catalpa bignonioides) has large heart-shaped deciduous leaves, showy, clustered flowers and long cigar-shaped fruit pods. Its white flower heads, splashed with orange and purple appear in late summer. The flowers are then followed by distinctive long black seed pods that remain throughout the winter.

Wellingtonias

The majority of the Parks’ majestic cluster of Wellingtonia trees (Sequoiadendron giganteum), were planted in the late 1880s with the smallest being added to the group in 1972. 

This species of tree is the world's largest living organism and is among the oldest living things on Earth. Based on ring count the oldest known giant sequoia is 3,500 years old. 

Heights of 300 feet and diameters of 30 feet are not uncommon in its native setting of North California.  The Park’s thin soil means that most specimens of the trees here are not likely to meet their full height potential.

Croquet Lawn

The Parks’ croquet lawn is for the exclusive use of the Croquet Club and is surrounded by trees planted in 1878. These trees were designed to screen the Observatory which, when built in 1874, was isolated in the middle of the Parks. It now adjoins buildings of the Science Area.

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