The Aperfield Cedar
The Aperfield Cedar in Biggin Hill, shown above, has been singled out by a panel of experts to be among 21 great Trees of London. The magnificent multi-stemmed Lebanon cedar, towers above nearby houses and is visible over rooftops for a wide area. It was selected from over 100 trees chosen because of their age, size, shape, species, wildlife importance or historical and cultural association and has been awarded a commemorative Great Trees of London green plaque.
Previously in the grounds of successive manor houses of the Aperfield Estate see our history section, it now stands at the front of a private house in Aperfield Road.
The Downe Yew, an ancient churchyard yew in the village of Downe, shown below, has also received a plaque. A hollow tree of intricate shape, it is of considerable nature conservation value as well as historical significance. The Yew tree is believed to be one of the oldest trees in the world!.
Because the tree is hollow it cannot be counted by counting its rings, or by carbon dating its ancient hartwood, but by comparing it with other yews, experts estimate that is is probably about 1,400 years old. The tree would have been about 600 years old and a sizeable landmark by the time the site was chosen for St Mary’s in Downe. Two other Yew trees in Cudham churchyard are believed to be as much as 1,700 years old and have trunks measuring 30 ft and 20 ft respectively.