swamp cypress tree

Above: the one in Aldermanbury

Below: the guerkin building
is surrounded by them. They must
have been there before it
was built.

swamp cypress tree

Trees of London
Aldermanbury Square

Swamp Cypress

              The swamp cypress in Aldermanbury square is quite a striking sight when one first encounters it, such an unusual tree to be seen in an urban location. It is testament to the versatility and durability of these large conifers that it can survive in London. However, the reason there are not many of them in London, and why those that there are are striking is because they don't really fit in. Unlike glorious deciduous trees, like the London plane which vary with the seasons, these conifers offer very little after the first glance.

Next to the guerkin building in
St Mary Axe in the city. swamp cypress tree

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Tree Identification

Taxodium distichum:

grow at an angle away from the twig; green, but go red/brown in autumn and are shed, which is rare for a conifer.

Swamp cypress needles


Swamp cypress female flowers

female flowers: small, green cones.

Swamp cypress bark bark:
grey/red; soft; vertical ridges.
long thin and pointed; can grow to an incredible 50 metres.
general: with a name like swamp cypress, it is a surprise to find any in central London. Similar to dawn redwood. Not surprisingly, it is not a native tree.

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At the north-west corner of Aldermanbury Square
there is a giant swamp cypress.

Trees of London        A James Wilkinson Publication ©