Visit to Culzean

April's outing was to Culzean Country Park, where Head Forester Ian Cornelius gave us a fascinating guided tour of some unusual specimens. Ian's encylopedic knowledge has been gained over 50 years working in forestry, the last 23 at Culzean. He introduced us to over 30 species, including some rare species and exceptional specimens, e.g.a Crimean Pine which is the largest in the country and the pair of massive Sitka Spruce known as Adam and Eve.

Ian's guided tour included key points of recognition for all the species encountered, stories of when the trees were first identified, (often by Scottish plan-hunters of the 19th century) and insights into the history of the Culzean grounds.

We also became aware of some of the complexities of tree nomenclature, not just the latin names - in which Ian is fluent - but also that:the Western Red Cedar is not a cedar; the Douglas Fir is not a fir; the Horse Chestnut is not a chestnut; the Chinese Plum Yew is not a yew and the Canary Island Oak does not come from the Canary Islands!