Tree surgeons and Landscapers in Blackheath
Blackheath Tree Surgeons
Blackheath, a district in south-east London, England, goes back centuries, all the way to the 1300s. Included in Blackheaths history is its many beautiful and ancient trees. To keep those historic trees in good health and condition, Blackheath Tree Surgeons maintain and care for many of Blackheaths trees.
There is so much history contained in Blackheath and its trees. What species of trees are there in Blackheath and Greenwich? What are the stories behind those trees? Why is Blackheath Tree Surgery so important in protecting not only Blackheaths trees but also Blackheaths history?
First, let’s go all the way back to the origin of Blackheaths name. The name ‘Blackheath’ was given to this London district as it appeared much darker in colour than its surrounding towns and green fields and areas near the Thames. Everything was darker than usual. The grass, bushes, plants, and trees were dark. Even the soil in which they grew was caliginous. Why was it so dark and colourless? Because the soil was in bad condition. It was poor and uncultivated.
So, the name Blackheath was birthed. Many believe that the name has something to do with the famous plague in Europe from 1347 to 1351 known as the “Black Death”, but it actually does not have anything to do with the origin of its name.
There are many pits and holes in and around Blackheath. These came about when gravel, chalk and huge pebbles and rocks were dug out of the area and used for heavy material as ballast to be used to ensure the stability of nearby ships. Later these deep pits were filled in either on purpose or by accident. Some were turned into ponds, one being Folly Pond. Blackheath Tree Surgeons care for ancient trees all over Blackheath.
There is one beautiful tree that leans over Folly Pond and it is a Blackthorn. Also known as ‘sloe’ and Prunus spinosa in Latin, the Blackthorn sits well in Blackheath as it has dark bark contrasted with its bright white blossom that blooms every year making Folly Pond look ever more picturesque. It is a deciduous tree and it is native to the UK and a lot of countries in Europe. Its traditional wood goes back centuries and was used for Irish shillelaghs, also used to make walking or riding sticks. Blackheath Tree Surgeons often deal with the Blackthorn as it is prominent in areas or London and throughout the UK.
Greenwich Park is famous for its origins with King Henry V111, Royal Observatory, Peninsula, and connections with London’s history. Located on the south banks of the River Thames, and only a short distance from the heart of London, Greenwich Park receives thousands of visitors every single year throughout the seasons from all over the world. Greenwich Park has also been the setting for famous films, one being “Before I Go to Sleep” staring Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, and Mark Strong.
Greenwich Tree Surgeons
One important factor that makes Greenwich Park so well-loved by both the locals and the tourists, is its plethora of new and old species of trees. A good amount of care and attention goes into the maintenance of these hundreds of trees by Blackheath Tree Surgeons.
The oldest avenue in England, strictly speaking, are said to be in Greenwich Park. You can visit today the ancient chestnut trees planted by John Evelyn in 1660. These beautiful ancient chestnut trees in Greenwich park. They go by the name sweet chestnuts, or in Latin: Cavstanea sativa. The specific ones in Greenwich Park are said to be around 358 years old.
They are beautiful to look at, and although they look at home in England, they are actually non-native. The Romans used to use the sweet chestnuts to ground into flour or coarse meal. They typically grow to over 35 meters if they are in good conditions and can live to over 700 years! As the sweet chestnuts in Greenwich Park are so old, Blackheath Tree Surgeons are employed to constantly tend to and protect to longevity of these trees. Blackheath Tree Surgeons protect to roots by cleverly using a ring of bark chippings that eventually will hold and nurse any fallen leaves and chestnut shells, keeping the environment of theses ancient trees in optimum quality.
With sufficient care, these Greenwich Park sweet chestnut trees could possibly live 573 years old, the age of the oldest chestnut tree in all of Britain located in Stourhead. However, the one that beats them all is the Hundred-Horse Chestnut (aka Castagno dei Cento Cavalli) discovered in Sicily that is estimated to be at least 3000 years old! This tree impresses Blackheath Tree Surgeons as it is one of the oldest living trees in the world.
Queen Elizabeth’s Oak
As trees are part of Greenwich, London, and England’s history, one famous tree that goes back all the way to the 1100s and its roots are intertwined with the Tudor Royal Family’s roots. It is named the Queen Elizabeth’s Oak and it is located in Greenwich Park.
You can visit this ancient oak today, although the Queen Elizabeth’s Oak died in the 19th century at the age of around 700 years old! It was amazingly held up by the network of ivy that had grown up it when it had been alive. This ivy plant had kept this historic oak upright for over 150 years! It then finally toppled down in 1991. Due to an unusually heavy rainstorm the dirt and soil around the tree was softened and then washed away by the rain, causing this longevous, yet deceased oak to come crashing down and lay in the spot where it is to this day.
As claimed by an old wives tale, the famous King Henry V111, with Anne Boleyn who was soon to be one of his six wives and was later executed in 1536 by a French swordsman after being accused for adultery and incest, danced around Queen Elizabeth’s Oak! This ancient oak must have provided shade for many a royal, including Queen Elizabeth I herself.
To this day, the story of Queen Elizabeth’s Oak still surprises Blackheath Tree Surgeons as it is such an unusual one. A new oak sapling was planted in 1992 by The Duke of Edinburgh to commemorate the life of the now fallen oak.
The English oak is one of the more famous trees in Blackheath and the UK. Blackheath Tree Surgeons work on thousands of oaks (Quercus robur in Latin) every year. They are beautiful trees that have grown into Britain’s history. You can find English oak all over Blackheath and London as they are well loved by the natives. They can grow to incredible heights and breadths and live for hundreds of years.
They produce acorns typically when they hit the 40-year mark. You often see delightful scenes of primroses and bluebells growing beneath oaks and this partnership is due to the vast canopy of the English oak that allows for lashes of sunshine to break through its broad and green leaves. The oak provides safety for the bluebells and primroses and they give back nutrients to the roots when they die. Oak trees are often a pleasure for Blackheath Tree Surgeons to work on as they are often very open and easy to access.
Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park
Founded in 2002, the Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park is one of the most famous and established “bio-diverse urban wetland”. So, what is the Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park? It is park home to four acres of freshwater habitat and environmental preservation for the hundreds of different species of wildlife. Many enjoy a relaxing and tranquil visit to this stunning Ecology Park located in Greenwich, which welcomes families from all over the globe.
Not only does the GPEP protect wildlife, but also many species of plants and trees that protect and nurture the environment. Recently there was a free Tree Giveaway at Greenwich Ecology Park in December 2019 organised by The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) in association with Planting 20000000 Trees, My Biggest Project Ever! An effort to plant 20 million trees to help with the rising concern of global warming, global environmental issues and habitat and biodiversity loss.
Blackheath Tree Surgeons are employed to attend to the growth and care of the trees and plants in the GPEP. Some of the trees that are kept here are Bird Cherry, Field Maple, Rowan/Mountain Ash. Bird Cherry (Prunus padus) is a native to UK and Europe. This beautiful tree is known as ‘wild lilac’ in many parts of Yorkshire as it spikes in growth of white blossom flowers in spring. Field Maple, (Acer campestre) is a species of tree that has small, dark green and shiny leaves that typically fade to a rich golden yellow at the end of summer before falling to their demise. Like with any other maple tree, the Field Maple’s sap located in Greenwich by Blackheath Tree Surgeons can be made into maple syrup that is popular in Canada.