About/ The Trees

This blog celebrates the stunning selection of trees in Trinity College Dublin.  

It also outlines Trinity Trees, an ambitious ongoing project involving the Trinity College Tree specialist (David Hackett), a scientist (Prof. David Taylor), a microscope expert (Dr. Clodagh Dooley) and an artist (Olivia Hassett) all based in Trinity College Dublin.

The team aim to make visible fascinating microscopic elements of the trees. This will allow for an unique way of engaging with the trees in an urban setting.

In response to the research and microscopic imagery the artist will create of a series of innovative art works, which will be installed in specific trees throughout the campus. This exhibition will launch in September, 2017. To compliment the exhibition the team will also develop a self guided walk with a supporting audio piece detailing informaiton on each tree.

After cross referencing our common interests with the general information on the Trinity Trees shared by David Hackett we have chosen a sample of ten different trees. See below for a list of these trees with a brief outline of our reasons for choosing them. This sampling process will help us narrow our search to the final five or six trees that will form the basis for the research and resultant art works.

At this early stage of the project we haven’t a huge amount of information or imagery to share but as we initiate the sampling process in the next few weeks we will post some images of the samples.

1. The Oregon Maple, Acer macrophyllum (Tree no. 312 & 319). Location: Main square

Background: brought to Europe from America. This is one of the oldest trees in Trinity College.

Of interest – the bracing system – where the tree limbs are linked by a steel cable system, which move in unison spreading the load throughout the tree.

Of note – the tree surgeon has only a 3o seconds time frame from drilling holes for support rods to inserting rods as tree will start to repair itself closing the hole.

2. Hop Horn Beam, Ostrya carpinifolia (Tree no. 270). Opposite Berkeley Library

Of interest – nice tree shapes, interesting seed pods.

3. Snake Bark Tree, Acer capillipes (Tree no. 293). Opposite Berkeley Library

Of interest: bark patterns and lovely oblong/ slit-like lenticles (breathing holes).

4. Pair of Plane Trees, Platanus orientalis (Trees no. 256 & 257) Opposite the Law Library

Of note: all plane trees (used frequently in cities) shed their bark every 2/3 years – good for getting rid of certain amounts of pollution.  The seed heads are globular in appearance.

Of interest: this pair of trees are very unusual looking because of their reaction to a infection in the main trunk during the infancy of the tree.   The nodules created during this infection continue to fall off regularly.

5. Crab Apple Tree, Malus ‘ Golden Hornet’ (Tree no. 298) Inside garden.

Of interest: canker fungal disease means the bark is very lumpy. Also produces lovely mini apples and flowers.

6. Cordyline Palm, Cordyline australis (Tree no. 214).

Of interest: internal structure of the trunk, fibrous hairs bunching. There are also some lovely small round lenticles that we would like to further investigate.

7. Cherry Blossom Tree, Prunus x subhirtella ‘Autumnalis’ (Tree no. 198)

Of interest: lovely delicate pink flowers. When the sap hardens it becomes amber-like -we are interested to see if any possible organisms got stuck inside this substance. There is a lot of lichen growing in interesting patterns on branches, which we look forward to photographing.

8. Yew Tree in the Medicinal garden – outside the Science Gallery.

Haven taken some samples of a few of the herbs in the Medicinal Garden and based on the resultant imagery and its medicinal importance we have decided that the Yew tree will be our final tree of choice to investigate further.

Of note: The Science Gallery have a pamphlet pertaining to this herb garden.