Old Pinetum

The Old Pinetum is home to some of the Garden's most majestic trees. Here the large trunks of Pinus nigra dominate, dating from the founding of the Garden in 1846 and today standing like sentinels.
Especially when lit by the low winter sun, highlighted by frost or snow they are a magnificent sight. A closer look at the trunks reveals a range of variation in the bark, some with large long plates that occasionally break off, some more deeply fissured. Pinus nigra, the Black or Austrian pine is a European species occurring from Austria to the Balkans and several different subspecies can be found throughout its range. Most easily recognised is subsp. pallasiana, the Crimean pine with its many stout and erect branches and several specimens can be found in the collection.

It’s also worth searching out some of the other species. Of note is Pinus monophylla, the one-needled nut pine from the dry parts of south-west USA. Easy to spot, this is the tree that leans heavily to the west having heaved in a storm but thankfully it came to rest on one of its lower branches.

Close-by is one of the Garden's champion trees, known for its spectacular display of large cones. This is Pinus x holfordiana with long silvery-green leaves and long cones, resembling bananas in shape and usually dripping with sticky resin.