Pontcanna Fields Tree Avenues

A tree avenue was planted in 1879-80 in Pontcanna Fields by Andrew Pettigrew, Head Gardener to the 3rd Marqus of Bute, who was then the land owner. This was an avenue of elms and limes that still runs north-south the length of the park. Another lime avenue runs through the park roughly east-west from the River Taff to Western Avenue. This used to continue to Llandaff Cathedral cemetery, ending in a star formation, before Western Avenue was built. The Marquis of Bute's plan for this avenue was described in 1880 in The Weekly Mail: "Leading from the public ground [Sophia Gardens Field], Lord Bute has planned a private avenue leading towards Llandaff. This avenue, which will be in a direct and straight line from the Castle ... will consist of four rows of trees, a mile in length. This avenue will terminate in an octagon having a radius of 60 feet, which will be planted around with short avenues of trees - each comprising two lines of firs and two of elms - forming the design of the "Union Jack".[1]

Lime avenue April 2016

Lime Avenue (April 2016)

Lime avenue June 2017

Looking north up the Lime Avenue (June 2017)

Lime avenue June 2017

Looking south down the Lime Avenue (June 2017)

A hundred years later during the 1970s Cardiff lost over 1,000 elm trees to dutch elm disease, including those forming the historic avenue in Pontcanna Fields. In December 2004 a new avenue of disease-resistant elm saplings ('New Horizon' Elms) was planted there to mark Cardiff's centenary as a city, and its Golden Jubilee as the capital of Wales, in 2005. Cardiff also received a designation as European City of the Elm 2005.[2] The avenue comprises 100 trees, 80 of which were donated by Hilliers Nurseries, and it lines the footpath between the Lime avenue and the Blackweir Bridge over the River Taff.

New Horizon tree avenue October 2012

'New Horizon' Elm Avenue (October 2012)

New Horizon tree avenue July 2016

West over the Taff to the 'New Horizon' Elm Avenue (July 2016)

New Horizon tree avenue June 2017

'New Horizon' Elm Avenue (June 2017)

New Horizon tree avenue June 2017

Eastwards along the 'New Horizon' Elm Avenue (June 2017)

Sources of Information

  1. The Weekly Mail Saturday. May 1st 1880 page 6
  2. Wales Online 16th December 2004: Elm turns over a new leaf