Life Journal

Trees of Tooting Bec Common

Trees of Tooting Bec Common

27 October 2017

Trees of Tooting Bec Common

I did an online horticulture course around a year ago (RHS Level 2 Certificate in Principles of Horticulture @ Open Study College, Level 2 Certificate in Principles of Horticulture), it was really interesting but I haven’t really utilised much of what I learned.

My main reason for doing this was that I didn’t have a clue about plant names and I wanted to know them. While doing the course I realised it would be impossible to know them all as there are over 350,000 species of plants… So obviously I thought I’d concentrate on plants around me, in the garden, on the streets and in my beloved common, and lately, more specifically, on trees.

Since the Tooting Chainsaw Massacre on Chestnut Avenue (see video below) and also due to the fact I haven’t been able to jog around the common due to ankle injury – so now I just walk around it – I have been concentrating more intensely on getting to know the area’s tree population. I really like the detective work this involves!

Here’s a Tooting Common Heritage Tree Survey of Tooting Bec Trees (published by Wandsworth Council) which was used when evaluating the Sweet Chestnut long term viability.
Some news articles on the subject:

Facebook Friends of Tooting Common Group

So, here’s the album with photos and identifications of the trees in the common.

Some useful resources that help me identify trees:
* Usborne Spotter’s Guide to Trees (this was a gift to my son years ago, but it’s a great little guide)
* The OPAL Tree Health Survey Tree Guide
* Woodland Trust guide to British Trees
* The Plant List
* Pl@ntNet app – always a good starting point even if it doesn’t always identify correctly, you can get some good clues from the suggestions. This app has already come a long way since it was first launched as it has a lot more data now. Here’s a review and explanation on how it works.
* Wikipedia’s list of tree genera from which I did this simple diagram with the most common trees I have found (note I haven’t even started on the conifers, concentrating on broad leaved trees for now).
* London’s Street Trees A Field Guide to the Urban Forest by Paul Wood

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