St Austell’s Tree Trail

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Leaf from Sycamore Tree (Acer pseudoplatanus)
The older part of St. Austell itself is surprisingly leafy, blessed by being in a well treed setting, with wooded valleys to north and south, both of which can be accessed on foot or by bicycle, plus prominent tree groups in the grounds of many larger 19th/ early 20th century properties fringing the town. This walk is fairly superficial arboriculturally speaking, so why not take a good tree guide book with you to find out more about the named trees and identify others not listed? This is a short walk around the town, starting (and finishing) at Holy Trinity Church where if you arrive in late summer you may be lucky enough to see the line of Eucryphia on the southern edge of the church yard in full flower.

Walk through Fore Street (the main shopping street) and down hill into Truro Road (to the right of the “café” mural). In the grounds of the properties to your right are several fine trees including Copper Beeches, apparently a much planted tree in the town during the early years of the last century. On the other side of the road Truro Road park contains a number of notable trees and shrubs including a large Funnel Fruited Gum and in front of the flats, a Foxglove Tree, at its best when in flower in early summer. (You can make a short diversion through the park to get a closer look) At the traffic lights, walk over the pedestrian crossing and river bridge before turning left into River Walk.

The tall trees on your right are Limes, while the less impressive riverside trees are Sycamores. Emerging into Ledrah Road, cross over into Pondhu Road and with the river to your left, walk along the road, passing an old Oak and Sycamore in the gardens of houses to your right. When you get to the main, Penwinnick Road go over the pedestrian crossing and take a quick tour in the grounds of the Cornwall Council offices. Formerly the setting for a large private house … Pondhu House, now converted to office use, there are a number of fine mature trees including Oak, English, Turkey and holm, Beech and Lime.

Also note the veritable arboretum of young ornamentals planted to commemorate past Mayors of the old Restormel Borough Council. Walking back to the road, re-cross it and turn right toward the Pentewan Road junction. After passing a group of mature Sycamore and Ash growing alongside the river, turn left into South Street and then almost immediately cross the road onto a footpath running through open space planted extensively with a variety of trees including Monterey Pine, Birch and Rowan. Walking into the estate note the mature Oak, Sycamore and Beech growing on the old boundary hedge. Follow the estate road into Belmont Road and turn left. On the left is Tolcarne, with some big, old trees including Monterey Pines, that are a prominent landmark locally. Just past Belmont Court, turn left and left again into Eastbourne Road, passing the entrance to Tolcarne. Where the road meets East Hill, take the pedestrian crossing, walk past the entrance into Lidl … note the old, over mature Copper Beech in the car park before turning appropriately, into Beech Lane. Enter High Cross Street park (through a recent formal planting of Fastigiate Hornbeam with its Yews … English and Irish (the latter are the upright variety) Beech, Lime and Western Red Cedar. Turn right at the sundial and out of the top (Carlyon Road) entrance.

Mature trees growing outside Polkyth Sport and Leisure Centre
Mature trees growing outside Polkyth Sport and Leisure Centre
Walk past Palace Road and opposite the library, turn left into Poltair Park. Take the path through an avenue of Limes and with the bowling club and football ground to your right, emerge on Trevarthian Road opposite the brewery. There are some big Cider Gums on the roadside, behind a “hedge” of Western Red Cedar . Walk down the road toward the station. There are some big trees on your left including Ash, Beech and Sycamore. Go over the old railway footbridge and downhill passing a big English Yew in the entrance to the church hall and to your right in front of Tregarne Terrace, a very big Monterey Cypress … another landmark tree in the townscape. Head toward the church, with another mature Lime near the tower.

You have come to the end of this tree themed walk but if you want to venture out of town, please check out longer walks/bike rides down the Pentewan Valley to Kings Wood or north on the “Green Corridor” to the Wheal Martin China Clay museum.

Click Here for our 'Things to do without the car' Tree Trail downloadable PDF

Below is a list of just a few of the varieties of tree that can be found about St Austell and it's surrounding areas.

St Austell Tree sycamore.jpg St Austell 30pad.gif Sycamore Tree (Acer pseudoplatanus)

This fast growing tree can grow up to 30 m in height. A very sturdy tree that can withstand strong winds with many horizontal branches leading from its trunk. Look out for specimens on Menacuddle Lane, Trinity Street and in Menacuddle woods.

St Austell Tree beech.jpg St Austell 30pad.gif European Beech Tree (Fagus sylvatica)

A large tree growing up to 50m tall. Tends to have a along slender light grey trunk with a narrow crown. Lifespan commonly of 150 - 200 years.After 30 - 50 years it produces triangular beech nuts, an important food for birds and rodents.Some fine examples can be seen in Menacuddle Woods.

St Austell Tree commonash.jpg St Austell 30pad.gif Common Ash (Fraxinus excelsior)

Grows to a height of 30m, with a spread of 20m. It is deciduous, with leaves which are divided into 9-13 leaflets giving a feathery outline in summer. Trunk is a greenish grey with contrasting black buds making the tree easy to identify in winter.

St Austell Tree lime.jpg St Austell 30pad.gif Lime Tree (Tilia x europaea)

Tilia species are large deciduous trees, reaching typically 20–40 m tall. A fine species can be seen on the Truro Road as you enter St Austell from the west and also off Trinity Street.

St Austell Tree yew.jpg St Austell 30pad.gif Yew Tree (Taxus baccata)

This evergreen tree is remarkable in its longevity and ability to regrow from its original root bole making some British Yews up to 4,000 years old! All of the tree is poisonous and in the Middle Ages arrows were often tipped with poison drawn from the tree. Some of our oldest yews can be found in churchyards and several lovely examples can be seen in the Cemetery Park in St Austell.

St Austell Tree montereycypress.jpg St Austell 30pad.gif Monterey Cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa)

Monterey cypress is a beautiful fast growing evergreen tree with a lemon scent. Triangular in shape when young, this species spreads as it ages. Look out for an example up Market Street.



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