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Trees

Kew has trees that are ancient, fascinating and historic - and sometimes all three at once.

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Alder leaves
Some ancient peoples thought this tree was evil because its wood quickly turned red when cut, as if bleeding.
An apple on a tree
With its ancestors originally hailing from the mountains of China, the orchard apple is now a common sight across Britain, from private gardens to commercial orchards.
Cones of the Atlas cedar
An Atlas cedar graces the White House South Lawn in Washington, DC. When President Carter designed a tree house for his daughter Amy, it was built in this tree.
This tree is sometimes know as the 'widowmaker'; workers beneath big-cone pines are advised to wear hard hats so they don't get injured by falling cones.
Branches of black mulberry
Black mulberry was historically planted in prison yards and the nursery rhyme 'Here we go round the mulberry bush' is thought to describe the daily exercise undertaken by inmates.
Black pine bark
This must be Kew's unluckiest tree. It has been struck by lightning twice and now has a lightning conductor, just in case. In the early 1900s a light aircraft crashed into the top of it, taking out the crown.
A fast-growing tree that is commonly used for windbreaks and screening, black poplar wood has also been used for making clogs and wagons.
Black walnut (<em>Juglans nigra</em>)
The strong, heavy heartwood of black walnut was historically used to make parts for guns. During the American Civil War, 'to shoulder walnut' came to mean enlisting as a soldier.
The drooping foliage of Brewer's spruce (Picea breweriana)
Considered one of the most attractive conifers in the world, Brewer's spruce is also one of the rarest. Although it is widely planted in British gardens, in the wild it is found only in the Siskiyou Mountains of California and Oregon in the USA.
Cones of California incense-cedar
In North America, California incense-cedar is grown to make pencils. Its timber is soft, helping to make pencils easy to sharpen without splinters.

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