The Overton Tree Trail
Enjoy the beauty of the variety of trees as you walk around Overton, circling the river Test. The trail starts on the Community Centre forecourt, which is by the traffic lights in the middle of the village. The tour is on roads, some without footpaths so take care with traffic. All the trees are visible from the footpath or road.
Legend of the trees
1. Willow (Salix)
There are over 250 species of willow. They are often planted on the edges of streams where their interlocking roots can protect the bank from water erosion.
2. Swamp Cypress (Taxodium)
One of only a few conifers growing in Britain that is deciduous, meaning it sheds its foliage in winter. The
needles turn a stunning fiery red in colour just before they fall in autumn.
3. Yew (Taxus)
Churchyard yews often pre-date the Church and some are known to be over 1000 years old. The foliage and seed in the berry are poisonous.
4. Caucasian Wingnut (Juglandaceae)
It is native to the Caucasian region and was introduced to Great Britain after 1800.
5. Purple Norward Maple (Acer)
Because of its attractive grain it was used to make part of the famous Stradivarius violins.
6. Walnut (Juglans)
The walnut tree was first introduced to England by the Romans. Its leaves and husks were used for hair dyes until the 20th Century.
7. Sycamore (Acer)
The honeydew exuded by the sycamore is an extremely valuable food source for insects and small animals.
8. Lime (Tilia)
Lime leaves are eaten by the caterpillars of many moth species. They are very attractive to aphids and the flowers provide nectar and pollen for insects, particularly bees.
9. Scots Pine (Pinus)
Scots Pine is the only truly native pine in the UK. More usually found in heathland. Grown for timber.
11. Hazel (Corylus)
Hazelnuts which are the fruit of the hazel are loved by many birds, squirrels and dormice.
12. Hornbeam (Carpinus)
In spring, using a stethoscope, rising sap can be heard pulsing in the trunk!
13. Ash (Fraxinus)
Distinctive black buds on grey twigs in winter. The timber has been harvested since the iron age for its elasticity and strength.
14. Cedar (Cedrus)
A tree native to the Himalayas and Mediterranean which can grow up to 35 metres. As trees age, cracks and crevices develop within their trunks and branches, providing nesting places for species such as tawny owls and roosts for bats.
15. Cherry (Prunus)
The fruit crop feeds wildlife and humans. The timber is valued for its rich mahogany-like colour.
16. Silver Birch (Betula)
The white bark sheds layers like tissue paper. It has lovely yellow catkins in April and May and provides food and habitat for more than 300 insect species.
17. Horse Chestnut (Aesculus)
Sticky buds, flower ‘candles’, conkers and deeply divided leaves of horse chestnut are unmistakable.
18. Silver Maple (Acer)
A native of the USA and Canada.
19. Oak (Quercus)
Just one oak can support 1000 other species. Its timber has always been used in building and furniture making.
20. Cockspur Hawthorn (Cratageous)
Native to eastern North America. The thorniest of the hawthorns!
10. Crab Apple (Malus)
One of the ancestors of the cultivated apple.