The trees at Keele

We have over 150 species of tree on campus, not counting the 240 species and varieties of Flowering Cherry! Amongst them are many of our common native species as well as some more unusual ones. So, if you can't tell a Beech from a Birch or just want to know a bit more about them then read on!

False Acacia Robinia pseudoacacia

False Acacia flower and leaf

False Acacia trunk Origin: the False Acacia or Black Locust Tree is a native of eastern and mid-western USA. It was introduced around 1636 and is common in parks and gardens and as a street tree.

The bark soon develops a network of ridges and fissures as well as thick burrs - see photo.

The leaves are alternate and pinnate, 15 - 20 cm long with 13 to 15 leaflets.

Flowers: as a member of the pea family it has racemes of pea-like white flowers; though the Keele tree only flowers sparingly.

Uses: the wood is very hard and resistant to rot, making it very useful for furniture, pannelling, fence posts etc. It also burns very hot and with little smoke, making it sought after in wood-burning stoves.

Location : we have just the one tree, on a bank by the side of Keele Hall. Have a close look at this tree and you will see a birch tree growing on one of its branches!