What The Storm Blew Down In Cambridge

the base of Newton's Apple tree after the storm blew it down in February 2022

This is Newton’s Apple Tree in the Cambridge University Botanic Gardens. The tree is a graft from the original tree under which Newton sat when he was at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he got his M.A. in 1668.

Now there is only the base after the tree fell in the storm here a few days ago.

I asked the staff at the Gardens whether they had taken cuttings (pretty obvious that they would have) and they have. So with a new root stock the tree can live on.

There is another graft on a tree outside Trinity College. I included a photograph of that tree in a post I wrote – an open letter to Extinction Rebellion about them digging up the lawn around the tree.

The Gardens lost a few more trees in the storm, but no big trees. One that I saw already chopped up was a Pawlownia. The gardener told me that it was dead before it was knocked over in the storm, suffering from honey fungus.

Seeing the tractor full of branches from the Paulownia, I wonder whether the honey fungus can be spread that way and whether the gardeners will burn the branches to prevent it spreading? I must ask.

carrying away the branches of the Paulownia that fell in the storm in Cambridge in 2022

Reading about honey fungus – it’s a silent assassin that simply chokes off the roots of the tree and then feeds off the dead wood. It’s recognisable by the white between bark and wood near the base of the tree.

The Weeping Ash Fell In The Storm

fallen weeping ash

On Jesus Green, which is close to where we live, a Weeping ash fell in the storm. Tamara and I know the tree so well. We watch its black buds in Spring and the ash keys (the seeds) that hang from the branches from late summer and into winter. The ash is close to a very large tree – a Caucasian wingnut – and the two trees command the space.

You can see that the tree ripped off at ground level, leaving the roots behind. If the tree had been healthy, I don’t think it would have lifted like that. I must check for signs of honey fungus.

Now that the ash tree has gone, there is what seems to be a huge open gap. It’s the same with the Paulownia that grew by the lake in the Botanic Gardens. Now there seems to be a huge naked gap.


The CUBG wrote about the storm that felled the Newton tree, and earlier storm that felled an earlier tree, and what the future holds


  1. Rebekah says:

    I always find it sad to see big, old trees fall … even if they don’t have great history, like these.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, yes. I touched the trunk of the ash tree to acknowledge the fact of it falling.


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