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Information, stories and myths relating to trees.

tree stories for the wooden hearted

the Cornelian Cherry tree


Coincidentally, we had produced a crop of this shrub in the nursery at Chigwell a couple of year’s back. I had never come across it before, though I gather it is naturalised in parts of the South Coast, where it has been found excellent as a seaside windbreak, growing and spreading in the poorest of soils. Native to China, it has been grown in Britain for 300 years, so one would expect it to have spread around quite a bit. It comes across as an unspectacular plant, though with an elegant, arching habit.

It has small purple flowers, followed by the now famous orange or red berries, which I have read can be highly ornamental, but have never actually seen. The plants we grew here didn’t sell terribly well. Alas-we were clearly ahead of our time-for now, we suddenly have people asking for it and have none to offer.

As soon as I discovered this exciting link, I rushed along to the patch of Lycium we had experimentally planted on an out of the way bank. Not a berry was there to be seen, so I do wonder a little how productive it is going to be in people’s gardens. All the dried berries in health food shops are imported from China, where they have been valued for their medicinal properties for generations and, I presume, are produced abundantly in their native climate.

The fruit of Cornus mas, the Cornelian Cherry, has been regarded as a super food for some time in Eastern Europe, where large numbers of free-fruiting clones of this shrub have been planted in recent years. ‘Jolico’ is the best known of these.

Cornus mas, which is native to Central and Southern Europe, is grown in this country-and has been probably for at least as long as the Lycium- primarily for its bright yellow flowers borne on the bare branches in late winter and early spring. The leaves, like those of most Cornus, colour richly in the autumn.

I must confess that, until recently I had not paid much attention to the fruit, which is anyway, at least on the straight species, not reliably produced in our climate. In the last few years, however, I have noticed that the variegated form, C.mas `Variegata’, regularly produces bright red berries, which are well set off by the attractive white-edged leaves; and this autumn I have been particularly struck by the crops of comparatively large, glossy fruits on the variety `Golden Glory’ AGM, selected for its prolific flowering. My interest in this fruit was further heightened when I was given a pot of jelly made by an adventurous fruit growing friend. It was delicious.

See watering your garden




Ash trees

Ash trees threatened

Forestry Commission England warns of threat posed by the Chalara fraxinea fungus


Enviroment and helping UK Forests

National Tree Week event - Take part in tree planting in East Park, Wolverhampton

Woodland Craft

Woodland Craft
Join the Park Rangers for some woodland management and crafts including coppicing

Community Trees

Community Tree Planting
Join in a planting at Brent River Park of over 400 trees


More from the web on trees

About Me




The Woodland Trust


The UK's leading woodland conservation charity. Help us plant trees, protect woods and inspire people to enjoy the nature on their doorstep.

Local UK big trees from The Tree Register www.treeregister.org/

UK big trees, a record of ancient and historical tree information in the Britich Isles from The Tree Register.


Native Tree List UK www.the-tree.org.uk/

Native Tree List UK. talk@the-tree.org.uk.


Tree nursery UK - buy trees online


One of the longest established silvicultural tree nurseries in the UK, with over 6 million traceable native trees available to buy online for delivery across the UK.

Recommended reading

Forestry Commission - tree name trail


A key to common trees found in Britain. Trees can be divided into two main groups: those that have flattened and wide leaves (known as broadleaves) and those ...

Arboricultural Association


Promotes care and knowledge of trees in the UK. Details of activities, members, and journal.


English Oak Trees

Information about English Oak trees, the beginning of the encyclopedia of life starting with the English Oak Tree, The Oaks life history, their conservation and ...


Trees for Life


A Scottish conservation charity dedicated to the regeneration and restoration of the Caledonian Forest in the Highlands of Scotland
























Hampton Court Flower Show

I went along to the Hampton Court Flower Show this year and was stunned to discover that a visit there could make the sick well again. Well, maybe not. However, I did see people, who had spent all day being pushed around in a wheelchair, up walking and pushing their own wheelchairs.

The impetus for this was, of course, the great sell off at the close of the show. Father was walking through the show ground cradling his baby in his arms, whilst mother followed with the pushchair laden with plants. Granny, who had benefited from resting in her wheelchair as she moved around the show, found it was an ideal way to get her lilies and agapanthus back to the carpark. Once out of the showground the sights were enough to make a gardener cringe, trees, agapanthus, eremurus and lilies sticking out of the sun roofs of dozens of cars on their way to the M3.

Other had folded up plants as best they could so that they would travel on the bus and underground. Then there is the safe bet that many of the plants acquired will not have been planted for several days, nor watered, nor put out of the sun. When will people learn that a bargain is only a bargain if you can get the plant home alive and in one piece... otherwise it is just so much compost.

More at Hampton Court Flower Show