A while ago Agent Simon who is based in Shropshire sent in a bumper find of 69 monkey puzzle trees from Welshpool and the nearby Leighton Estate. I reported the finds here.
Of particular interest – to the monkey fan – was an avenue of 39 monkey puzzle trees, in an rather overgrown state running along Offa’s Dyke. As Simon himself said, ‘In a bit of a state, but more or less complete as a regularly spaced avenue of trees.’
Avenues of trees feature in estates. The earliest tree avenues were formed by marking a way through the forest for riding – – like the lime avenues at Westonbirt featured here, lime avenues were popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. Later, lines of trees were deliberately planted to frame a house and to extend the formal design of the garden into the parkland. In the 19th century many exotic trees were used for avenues, and also in the post there is a photograph of what remains of an avenue of monkey puzzle trees at Hafodunos near Conwy (on my visit list).
For this avenue on the Leighton Estate border, Simon very diligently photographed each tree in the avenue – no mean task given that he was doing this around the December solstice, the darkest time of the year. I hadn’t yet featured all the 39 individual trees, but for the record they are all now pictured here. Thanks to Agent Simon for his most excellent attention to detail. Good work.