Skip to main content
You are here


Kew has trees that are ancient, fascinating or historic — and often all three at once. Here's some of our favourite trees, for visitors to enjoy below.

Visit our in-depth botanical guide to trees

Enjoy the trees on one of our walks and courses

Track down Kew's Old Lions (ancient trees) dating back to before the American War of Independence (1775–1783)

Showing 1 - 10 of 44 results


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.
Atlas Cedar at Kew Gardens
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.
Big-cone pine (Pinus coulteri)
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 (Pinus nigra)
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.
Brewer's spruce, Picea breweriana at Kew Gardens
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 (Calocedrus decurrens) at Kew Gardens
In North America, California incense-cedar is grown to make pencils. Its timber is soft, helping to make pencils easy to sharpen without splinters.

Showing 1 - 10 of 44 results


Ancient Trees

Ancient Trees: Trees That Live for a Thousand Years

Ancient Trees covers those species of tree that have lived for more than a thousand years.

The British Oak

British Oak

Archie Miles explores the rise of oak woods since the last Ice Age, placing the tree in its biological, cultural and economic context. 

Photographing Trees

Photographing Trees (Cropped)

How to take beautiful photos of trees.