The Lucombe Oak, Quercus x hispanica ‘Lucombeana’
The Lucombe Oak was originally raised in a nursery in Exeter by Mr Lucombe in 1762 as a cross between Q. cerris and Q. suber. It is unusual in the fact that it keeps its leaves over winter. This was one of the first saplings raised by Lucombe and although the tree produces fertile acorns the resulting plants vary considerably. The Kew specimen was planted some time around 1773, but was moved in 1846 as it stood in the way of the proposed Syon Vista, designed by William Nesfield, which radiates off the rear doors of the Palm House. It was transplanted 20 metres south to make way for the new plantings of Q. ilex. It was reported that Mr Lucombe was so taken by this tree that he later felled the original specimen to provide wood for his own coffin and kept the boards under his bed until he died.
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