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Kew has trees that are ancient, fascinating and historic - and often all three at once. We have identified a selection of 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

Showing 21 - 30 of 44 results


Black leaf buds of the common ash
As one of Europe's largest native trees, the ash is steeped in mythology and superstition. It was believed that passing a sick child through a large split in the tree's trunk would cure it, and burning logs of ash were thought to drive evil spirits away.
Autumnal leaves of the common beech
Huge beech forests growing in the Chilterns led to a thriving furniture industry there. In 1887, a group of sporty furniture makers founded Wycombe Wanderers Football Club. To this day, the team's nickname is The Chairboys.
Berries of the common hawthorn
In medieval times it was bad luck to take sprigs of hawthorn blossom indoors as it foretold a death in the household. We now know that chemicals in the scent of the hawthorn are present in decaying corpses, perhaps the reason for this myth.
The original maze at Hampton Court was probably formed of hornbeam hedges before being replaced with yew and holly. Hornbeam does make a good hedge, as it is easy to maintain, with dense foliage, some of which is retained over winter, albeit dead.
Berries of common juniper
Juniper berries are famously used to flavour gin. In fact, the word 'gin' comes from the French word for both the drink and the berry itself - genièvre.
Common laburnum
One of Britain's most popular flowering trees, the common laburnum is also among the most poisonous. Just 15 - 20 of the pea-like seeds could be a lethal dose. Luckily the most popular hybrids rarely produce viable seed.
The Corsican pine (Pinus nigra subsp. laricio) at Kew Gardens
Kew botanist R. A. Salisbury brought this conifer to Kew as a six-inch seedling from the South of France in 1814.
Encephalartos altensteinii in Kew's Palm House
Housed in a large wooden box at the southern end of the Palm House, the Eastern Cape giant cycad could be the oldest pot plant in the world.
The false acacia tree at Kew
This tree is one of Kew's five remaining 'Old Lions' - trees planted in 1762 as part of the original Gardens - and is now supported by metal bands.
Flowers on Kew's Indian horse chestnut
Deer and squirrels eat Indian horse chestnut seeds, but they can be poisonous to humans. The small conkers contain a substance called aesculin, which destroys red blood cells.

Showing 21 - 30 of 44 results


Ancient Trees

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

Ancient Trees: Trees That Live for a Thousand Years

The 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. 

British Oak

Photographing Trees

How to take beautiful photos of trees.

Photographing Trees (Cropped)