#1 HOP HORNBEAM Ostrya carpinifolia


Bought as a 4ft 3in (1.27m) sapling in December 1915 from the St Barbe Baker nursery, near Southampton. InĀ 2009 it was measured by Owen Johnson: height 18m; and girth 2.94m.

Originally planted in the Chinese section in 1916 then moved in February 1918 to its present location. It would have been at the far end of the tennis court when viewed from Mr Hammond’s house.

This tree is native to southern Europe and West Asia and was introduced to Britain in 1724. The wood is hard but brittle.

In April the tree is hazy with silky golden catkins which then give way to delicate, papery, hop-like seed cases.

The bark is scaly, and strangely rippled; at the based fused formations wrap the trunk in a writhing natural sculpture.

From Mr Hammond’s Plant Register: