Arbres Remarquables: Where to Find the Great Trees of Paris

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Arbres Remarquables: Where to Find the Great Trees of Paris
Have you ever been awestruck by a particularly majestic tree? One that is so tall, so large, so old, so original, or just so beautiful that it stops you right in your tracks? There are over 200 such trees in Paris, and they are just waiting to get noticed. While most of these remarkable trees can be found in the botanical gardens and larger parks of the city, they are also present in every arrondissement — in the squares, and on the streets you pass by every day. They represent a diverse palette, with over 50 species of deciduous and evergreen trees. The planes, beeches, and horsechestnuts offer some of the most impressive silhouettes today, as they were among the most popular trees planted in the 19th century. A majestic ginkgo tree in Parc Montsouris, in full autumn color. Photo credit: Bonjour Paris To highlight these living monuments, the Parks Department has selected 191 trees throughout the city’s 20 districts. Within this selection, some trees were also awarded the prestigious national title of “Arbre Remarquable” (Remarkable Tree) by the A.R.B.R.E.S. association and bear this pictogram / logo. Sign designating an “Arbre Remarquable.” Photo credit: Amy Kupec-Larue. In addition to its age, physical, and aesthetic characteristics, a tree may also be classified as “Remarkable” for its historical interest, whether it was planted for a special event or is associated with a local custom or legend. Such is the case of the field elm on the Place Saint Gervais, where debts were commonly repaid beginning in the Middle Ages. While the present specimen dates only from 1935, the elm tree’s presence is referenced in period artwork and the 17th-century iron balcony railings on neighboring buildings. The tree depicted in a balcony railing on the Place Saint Gervais. Photo: Wikimedia Commons So, where should you begin looking for these Remarkable Trees? That depends on how much time you have. If you would like to proceed methodically, I would suggest the interactive map on the paris.fr website. You will find the tree locations, common name in French, Latin name, height, circumference, and plantation date when available.
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Lead photo credit : The black locust tree in the René Viviani square in the 5th is the oldest tree in Paris, brought to France from America in 1601. Photo: Tangopaso/ Wikimedia commons. Public domain

More in Arbre Remarquable, gardens, nature, oldest tree in Paris, Paris, parks, trees

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Amy Kupec Larue has been living, working and traveling in Europe for 30 years. Her passion for flowers, plants and the French art de vivre led her to a career that combines her knowledge, interests and vast experience with gardens. Since 2005 she has been guiding individuals and groups including the Pacific Horticulture Society, the New York Botanical Garden and the Garden Club of America on tours through public and private gardens in France and Italy. A rose lover, she has been a permanent jury member of the Bagatelle Rose Commission since 2009. Currently Amy is offering armchair travel opportunities through her virtual garden talks; sign up on her website (https://www.gardenguideparis.com/online-offerings)

Comments

  • Guy Hibbert
    2021-04-16 09:34:43
    Guy Hibbert
    Thanks for this fascinating insight, Amy. I shall pay more attention to the trees on my next visit!

    REPLY

  • David Mulligan
    2021-04-11 06:40:19
    David Mulligan
    Excellent article. I now have another reason to return to France once it is posible.

    REPLY