County Champion

Planted: 1914

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Rated County Champion in 2023

This tree is near the centre of the Grass Path, on the south side.

Distribution:Native region unknown, probably south west China.
Rare, no longer found in the wild.
Planting Date:1914 supplied by Plowman and Son, High Street and Lubenham Hill, Market Harborough, Leicestershire
Growth Habit:Domed, upper limbs untidily curling
Bark:Pale, dove grey, deep criss-cross fissures
Leaf:Ovate to elliptic 20 cm by 9 cm leathery, taper-pointed, finely toothed glossy, dark green with prominent veining, downy when young
Flowers:Dioecious – male and female on separate plants. Very small, late spring before leaves emerge.
Fruit:On rare females, winged green keys, 4 cm, in clusters, each key containing one seed, elm-like.
Tree size in 2023:Height 8.5 m and  girth 99 cm          (Potentially 12 m)
Uses:Grown as an ornamental shade tree because of its glossy green leaves, and resistance to insect and disease problems.
Bark is used medicinally as a tonic for liver and kidneys, lowering blood pressure and absorbing cholesterol.
Only tree in the Temperate Zone known to produce latex, but the quantity is too small to be of commercial interest.
Introduction Date:1896 from plants propagated in China.
Anecdotes and Comments:Mr Hammond’s plant register:
Purchased from Plowman’s nursery of Market Harborough in 1914. (Plowman and Son, High Street, and Lubenham Hill, Market Harborough, Leicestershire)
HEIGHT “5ft.9ins. (1.75 m) in1915);  “11ft” (3.35 m)  in 1923
In his 2004 tree survey Tony Titchen remarked that this tree could be male as no ash-like seeds have been seen.  It is a rare tree in collections.
Rated by height and girth County Champion in 2023 by The Tree Register.