Champion Trees are individual trees which are exceptional examples of their species because of their enormous size, great age, rarity or historical significance. We have a number of UK Champion Trees in the Garden, as well as several Champion Trees of England and of Cambridgeshire. For more information, see www.treeregister.org.
Three of our Champion Trees are native to the UK: English Whitebeam (Sorbus anglica), Round-leaved Whitebeam (S. eminens) and Ley’s Whitebeam (S. leyana). All of them can be found in the Rose family (Rosaceae), near the Wild Pear (Pyrus communis).
Ley’s Whitebeam is native to Wales, and is one of the country’s rarest tree species. Since its discovery and naming in the 19th century by Reverend Augustin Ley, quarrying has destroyed much of its natural habitat. It is now critically endangered: the wild population numbers just eleven trees. In 2002, an S. leyana growing in Wales was one of fifty trees selected to commemorate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee; another was our Dawn Redwood, found near the Lake.
See the Trees of the Botanic Garden trail.