Telling your Picea from your Abies….

Harcourt Aboretum

In what seemed a good idea at the time,  I booked to go on a ‘Conifer Identification’ course last weekend at Oxford University’s Harcourt Aboretum, home to some beautiful magnolias and a host of rare trees.

It was a rather long way to go to look at (admittedly quite unusual) Christmas trees, but it turned out to be fascinating; cramming in taxonomy, habitat and plant use, as well as a tour round the collection looking at a range of different specimens.

In theory I can now tell the difference between a spruce and a fir simply by looking at a single needle. In practice though I’ll still be checking the label……


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