FIRST - Stone Pine - Kew Gardens, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 28.981 W 000° 17.413
30U E 688147 N 5707022
Quick Description: This Stone Pine was the first to be planted in Kew Gardens in 1846. It has an unusual look as it was first kept as a potted plant before being put in the ground.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 1/23/2017 11:40:46 AM
Waymark Code: WMTYCG
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Zork V
Views: 0

Long Description:

A plaque, near the base of the tree, advises:

Stone Pine

Native to southern Europe, stone pines (Pinus pinea) have been grown for their pine nuts, which are used in a variety of regional recipes.

Slone pines are evocative of Mediterranean summers: their tall umbrella shapes and scented foliage give a unique ambience to areas such as southern Spain and Italy. Their thick red-brown bark is deeply fissured into broad vertical plates giving the species a special architectural quality.

It was not until 1846 that Kew planted this, its first stone pine, when new land was granted to the arboretum alongside the original botanic garden. It was one of the first trees to be planted here but due to the fact it had sat for a long time as a potted plant in the nursery it developed an unusual multi-branched habit. This has led to it being one of Kew's most recognisable heritage trees and one of its most photographed.

The Kew Gardens website tells us:

Kew’s oldest stone pine can be seen growing close to the Director’s Garden and the Secluded Garden. This specimen was planted in 1846 and was kept in a pot in Princess Augusta’s nursery for many years, alongside other recently introduced pines, there being no space left for planting in the original five-acre arboretum. The tree became stunted and bonsai-like and, once planted out in the new 45 acres added to the arboretum, it eventually grew to form the unusual shape it displays today. After the tree lost a limb during a snowstorm in January 1926, it began to lean, and it is now supported by a prop. Despite this, it has grown to a height of 14 m, and is still in good health. A more recently planted stone pine can be seen in the Mediterranean Garden.

The Economic Botany Collection contains 24 specimens of Pinus pinea, including cones, roots, seeds, wood and ‘strung kernels’.

FIRST - Classification Variable: Item or Event

Date of FIRST: 1/1/1846

More Information - Web URL: [Web Link]

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