Chiswick’s Street Trees

Photographs of Chiswick High Rd by Anna Kunst

Chiswick is often described as ‘leafy’ and we are lucky to have mature trees, as this was one of the first areas of London to be planted. The Victorians copied the Parisians, wanting to emulate their tree-lined boulevards, so Chiswick High Rd has trees which are over a hundred years old. But we are also fortunate in Chiswick to have a wide variety of street trees, which contribute interesting colours and shapes to the street scene. From their sculptured outlines in winter to their leafy glory in spring and summer and their magnificent display of colour in autumn, Chiswick’s trees contribute hugely to the character of the place. Roads like Barrowgate Rd and Dukes Avenue are a glorious blaze of colour in autumn and there’s an urban myth that the Queen Mother used to request her driver to bring her to Staveley Rd to see the Cherry trees in spring.

But why did the Plane tree become so ubiquitous in London and why do you get moss and lichen on some trees and not on others? Paul Wood, author of ‘London’s Street Trees; A Field Guide to the Urban Forest’, took Editor of The Chiswick Calendar Bridget Osborne on a tour of Chiswick’s street trees. Thanks to Paul also for his lovely photographs above and below.