Things That You Don’t Notice…

Common Lime (Tilia x europaea)

Dear Readers, I was dashing down to an appointment this morning when I realised that I was a few minutes early. So, I took a detour down Lincoln Road, one of the ‘County Roads’ of East Finchley just to waste a bit of time. And then suddenly, I looked at the tree next to me, with its heart-shaped leaves, and realised that, unlike the varied planting on my road, this is basically an avenue of limes.

All the other roads around here are awash with cherries and pears and maples, but not Lincoln, which is limes more or less from end to end, with a few smaller trees of different species which must have been brought in to replace the original planting.

To be honest, many of them are looking a little unkempt – they were very popular in Victorian times because they are easy to reproduce from suckers, and most of these trees were positively shaggy. Later they became unpopular because aphids love them, and rain down their honeydew onto any vehicles parked underneath (this was the point at which London Planes started to be planted instead). But I love the sweet, floral scent of the flowers, as you may remember.

Although most of the much bigger trees on the High Road are London Planes, there is one remaining lime tree at the bottom of Lincoln Road, maybe planted at the same time as the ones that are actually on the street. This one, though, has been allowed to grow much bigger. I will get a photo next time I’m not in so much of a rush.

You can have a look for your local street trees if you live in London here, and here’s a screenshot of Lincoln Road. All the green blobs are limes, except for two hornbeams, but as they’re all the same shade of green you’ll have to trust me.

So, I have walked down Lincoln Road many a time, and this is the first time that I’ve ever noticed that its trees are very different from the other roads. It just makes me wonder what else I’ve missed.

Leave a Reply