View of Braidburn Valley Park - September

Braidburn Valley Park

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Trees

The majority of the trees in the Park have been planted within the last hundred years. The woodland next to Comiston Road at the northern end of the Park is the only remnant of old woodland and can be traced back on maps at least as far as 1855. Trees alongside the burn such as the large willows and crab apples at the southern end are also likely to pre-date the Park.

There are several notable features that have been planted:

  • Alongside Comiston Road is a line of Wheatley Elms. These fine trees come into leaf very late compared to other trees (sometimes as late as May) and hold their leaves well into the winter, finally letting go their abundant golden leaves in late November. Unfortunately, like most elms in Britain, they are succumbing to Dutch Elm Disease. The City of Edinburgh Council carefully monitors these trees and removes any showing signs of the disease. They are being replaced by red-twigged lime trees. More more details see the article on Wheatley Elms
  • The large numbers of cherry trees towards the southern end of the Park (over 400) were planted in 1935 by the Guides Association in the shape of their emblem – a trefoil. The trees are planted as avenues alongside the paths and make a magnificent display of pink and white blossom in the spring. These trees are now over 70 years old and in decline. A program of replacement is started in 2008 and will run for around 20 years.
  • More recently, in the late 1990’s, large numbers of sorbus trees were planted in groups throughout the Park. They provide excellent flame-red autumn leaf colours as well as various coloured berries. Some of these trees have been damaged by strimmers used for grass cutting, as well as by gales and vandalism, but the majority are growing well.

There are plans for some limited new planting of trees alongside, the burn which will help to replace some of the large willows that have been lost in winter gales over the past few years. A few large specimen trees such as oak will also be planted but will be carefully sited to preserve the views for which the Park is famous.

The Friends of Braidburn Valley Park are working with the Council on the management of the trees. A draft management plan is available which includes detail on how the existing trees will be managed and also outlines the new planting that is planned.

There are two honorary Tree Wardens attached to the Park and they can be contacted by e-mailing TreeWarden@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk