This survey was carried out in June-August 2020 by Peter Pitkin. All measurements in the following tables are rough estimates, in feet and inches. The plan indicating the position of the numbered trees was traced from the Google satellite image, 2020.
In some cases an identification is less than certain – indicated in the tables by ‘cf.’ (compare), e.g. Betula cf. pubescens. The identification of some trees, particularly the cherries, could be confirmed earlier in the year when they would be in flower or newly in leaf.
There are around 40 different kinds of trees. Of these, seventeen commonly grow wild at least somewhere in the UK.
Planting There is a mixture of planted and self-sown trees. Many of the birches are likely to have been self-sown, and there are frequent self-sown sycamores. It is difficult to discern much of a pattern to any older planting. More recently, however, the oaks and Austrian pines planted around 25(?) years ago were planted in a cross-like formation in each of the four divisions of the main part of the cemetery.
The most impressive trees visually are the copper (purple) beeches, the single wild-type beech, the limes and the larger sycamores, but there are also some very attractive silver birches. The limes are the tallest, reaching around 75ft.
The limes, the beeches and the largest sycamores were very likely all planted at the same time, probably when (or soon after) the cemetery was laid out. There are four very large wild cherries (gean) which may be contemporary with them.
It is very unlikely that any of the trees are older than the cemetery itself.
The most interesting specimens are the silver lime (Tilia tomentosa), the dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides), the field maple (Acer campestre) and the hornbeam (Carpinus betulus). All are young – probably planted around 20-25 years ago. The berberis (Berberis darwinii) is a common garden shrub, but is remarkable here for its height (c.22ft.).
There is an assortment of sycamores (though no more varied than on Bruntsfield Links and the Meadows) with three variegated trees, one resembling ‘Corstorphinense’ and a red-leaved one.
Pollarding All the larger trees, except for one notable sycamore (no.150) and perhaps the birches, have at some time been pollarded, very likely more than once. At a rough guess the last time would have been between the wars. With the birches it is much harder to tell – a few show clear signs, but generally they do not respond by producing the crop of relatively uniform vertical stems that we see for instance in the lime trees. With the trees pollarded there would have been an open view across the cemetery, so its appearance and its atmosphere would have been very different from now.
Marked trees Only two trees are marked as being planted in memory of the cemetery’s occupants.
Some of the older trees bear numbered tags. There appear to be two series of numbers, both incomplete – one (probably the earlier) with five figures followed by EDC, the other with five figures followed by CEM.
A young Scots pine (No 83) has a plaque labelling it ‘The Grange Association Millennium Tree’, recording that it was planted by Roger Crofts CBE, Chief Executive of Scottish Natural Heritage on 6t6 October 1999. The plaque needs replacing.
The birches are very varied. Many of them are clearly the silver birch, Betula pendula, but with varying degrees of ‘weeping’, some of them doing so very prettily. A smaller number resemble downy birch, B. pubescens, to some degree and while I am happy that some of these are the species, others with intermediate or mixed characteristics appear to be hybrids. I have not attempted to draw that line.
In addition to the trees, several shrubs are worth mentioning. Leycesteria formosa, the Himalayan honeysuckle is plentiful and very obviously self-seeding (spread by birds that eat the black fruits). Several species of Cotoneaster (incl. C. frigidus, C. horizontalis, C conspicuus) are present, no doubt similarly introduced by birds. And in the western extension Hebe armstrongii, one of the ‘whipcord’ hebes from New Zealand, has been planted on the E-W bank, and is quite striking even though it is now getting rather old.
Note that the numbers include some immature self-sown specimens which are perhaps better described as shrubs or bushes. The smallest and scrappiest are omitted. * indicates species found wild in the UK.
(Click on below for photos)
Betula pubescens or hybrids B. pubescens x B. pendula
Fagus sylvatica ‘Purpurea’
Copper (purple) beech
Tilia x europaea
Prunus cf. ‘Kanzan’
Ornamental flowering cherry
*Gean/ wild cherry
Acer pseudoplatanus ‘Variegatum’
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana (vars.)
Lawson cypress (varieties)
Taxus baccata ‘Fastigiata’
Malus x purpurea cf. Lemoinei
Crab apple, a purple-leaved variety
Thuja occidentalis ‘Lutea’
Eastern white cedar (variety)
A. platanoides (var.)
Norway maple, purple-leaved
A. pseudoplatanus ‘Purpureum’
Sycamore , red-leaved
A. pseudoplatanus cf. ‘Corstorphinense’
Betula pendula ‘Dalecarlica’
Silver birch, cut-leaved
*Beech, wild type
M. x tschonoskii
Ornamental crab apple (? ‘Red Sentinel’)
Prunus, other ornamental, possible P. ‘Spire’
Sorbus cf. mougeotii
*Yew, wild type
Inventory of trees in the Grange Cemetery
Numbers as marked on plan above
(Click on below for photos)
(2 x 10ins) x 15ft.
Prunus (cf. P. hillieri ‘Spire’)
16ins x 25ft.
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana (var.)
(c.5 x <8ins.) x 15ft.
30ins. x 35ft.
c.9ins. x 20ft.
8ins. x 15ft.
(2 x 6ins.) x 12ft.
6ins. x 12ft.
(2 x 9-10ins.) x 35ft.
(3+3+4ins.) x 15ft.
2ins. x 10ft.
Acer platanoides (var.)
Norway maple (purple)
3ins. x 12ft.
Possibly ‘Faasens Black’
Salix caprea ssp. sericea
Bush 12ft. x 12ft.
Quite a good match for ssp. sericea – no stipules, cuneate leaf base, lvs. silvery below, etc.