Austen’s Trees and Shrubs L-Z

Trees and Shrubs Mentioned in Jane Austen’s Novels, Letters, and Minor Works with Historical Background, L-Z

Most of Austen’s heroines enjoy being outside and “look[ing] upon verdure” (MP 96). However, Austen does not often name specific trees, rather naming groups of trees such as woods, groves, plantations, shrubbery, gardens, wildernesses, copses, and trees.  When trees are named in the novels, it is often for a specific reason, such as a tree that provides good shade (limes), or a tree that grows quite tall (elms).  Sometimes the names of trees that Austen uses are different from the names we use, as botanical knowledge has evolved.  There are also many references to trees and shrubs in her letters, often about trees growing around her home at the time.  From her letters, we know that trees were meaningful to and loved by Austen. 

Readers in Austen’s times would have known what a shrubbery or wilderness garden looks like, although many modern readers do not.  Wilderness gardens were constructed at an earlier period than when Austen was writing (Wilson; Clark) and were large tracts of land planted with a variety of trees with both straight avenues and winding paths. Mr. Rushworth’s estate, Sotherton, in Mansfield Park, has a large wilderness garden and is described as being from the Elizabethan era (Clark).  Shrubbery tended to be closer to the house and had both flowering shrubs, trees, and flowers, along with places to sit and gravel walks.  Sometimes shrubbery was closed (had shrubs and trees on both sides of gravel) and sometimes it was open with shrubs and trees on one side and then open grass with occasional trees on the other side to allow views around the estate (Clark; Wilson).  Shrubbery is mentioned in all of the six novels.  Finally, most houses would also have kitchen gardens for fruits, vegetables, and herbs.  In Jane Austen’s home at Chawton near her brother’s estate, she, her mother, and sister had a cottage garden with trees; flowering shrubs; fruit trees, shrubs, and plants; vegetables; flowers; and herbs (see Wilson for pictures of the current Chawton cottage garden and a plan for creating your own cottage garden).  

This page was designed to focus on Jane Austen’s trees and shrubs, including fruit trees and shrubs.  To get a better understanding of the historical usage of tree names, I consulted British books from the 1600s and 1700s about trees and gardening:  John Evelyn’s Sylva from 1662, which was reprinted many times (I used the fourth edition of 1678) and was a founding text for British botany; Philip Miller’s The Gardeners Dictionary (especially 1735, 1754, and 1768 editions); and Thomas Mawe and John Abercrombie’s The Universal Gardener and Botanist of 1778 (1).  Evelyn’s Sylva and Mawe and Abercrombie’s Universal Gardener were both found in the library of Jane Austen’s brother Edward Austen Knight at Godmersham Park based on the catalogue of 1818, as well as related books by Philip Miller (https://www.readingwithausten.com/catalogue.html).  Another useful resource was the website of The Woodland Trust, UK, which has an extensive list of native and non-native British trees that can be found in the woodlands in Great Britain.  In addition to information about the trees, there are pictures of the trees in different seasons and close-up shots of different parts of the trees. 

Most of the pictures on this page were taken by Michele Larrow at the University of Idaho Arboretum unless otherwise noted.  Special thanks to Paul Warnick, Horticulturist at U. of Idaho, who helped me to locate many of the tree and shrub specimens at the arboretum. If the picture shows a different variety of the species from the one listed, that is noted on the picture. For a list of the trees and shrubs mentioned here with the map grid where they can be found at the arboretum, click on the download below (treeshrubsja). Also, the map for the U. of Idaho arboretum can be found at https://www.uidaho.edu/infrastructure/facilities/arboretum/tour-maps

References:

Austen, Jane. The Novels of Jane Austen. Ed. R. W. Chapman, 3rd ed. Oxford: OUP, 1933-1969.

____.  Jane Austen’s Letters. Ed. Deirdre Le Fay. 3rd ed. Oxford: OUP, 1995.

____. Juvenilia.  Ed. Peter Sabor.  Cambridge: CUP, 2006.

Clark, Robert. “Wilderness and Shrubbery in Austen’s Works.” Persuasions On-line, 36.1 (2015).  http://jasna.org/publications/persuasions-online/vol36no1/clark/.

Evelyn, John. Sylva.  4th ed. London: Doubleday, 1678.  https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/20778

Johnson, Samuel. “Acacia.” A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: January 31, 2014. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/acacia/.

Le Faye, Deirdre.  Jane Austen’s Country Life. London: Frances Lincoln, 2014.

Mawe, Thomas, and Abercrombie, John.  The Universal Gardener and Botanist London, 1778. https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Universal_Gardener_and_Botanist.html?id=qClAAAAAcAAJ

Miller, Philip.  The Gardeners Dictionary, 8th ed. London, 1768.   https://books.google.com/books?id=ko9cAAAAcAAJ

Wilson, Kim.  In the Garden with Jane Austen. London: Frances Lincoln, 2008.

Woodland Trust, UK https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/a-z-of-uk-native-trees/

(1) Robert Clark was helpful in directing me to John Evelyn’s Sylva and gave suggestions for what modern tree names Austen might be referring to with “acacia,” “spruce firs,” and “Scotch firs”.  I then researched the terms in the historical texts.

Laburnum (Golden Chain)   Laburnum anagyoides

Laburnum and Syringa are both mentioned in an Austen letter in the context of a poem by one of her favorite poets, William Cowper: “Laburnum rich In streaming gold; syringa iv’ry-pure” from The Task, Book VI “The Winter Walk at Noon”:

“Our garden is putting in order by a man who bears a remarkably good character, has a very fine complexion, and asks something less than the first. The shrubs which border the gravel walk, he says, are only sweetbriar and roses, and the latter of an indifferent sort; we mean to get a few of a better kind, therefore, and at my own particular desire he procures us some syringas. I could not do without a syringa, for the sake of Cowper’s line. We talk also of a laburnum. The border under the terrace wall is clearing away to receive currants and gooseberry bushes, and a spot is found very proper for raspberries.”  (Letters 8-9 February 1807, from Southampton)

Larch, European Larix decidua

Larch is not native to England, but grows wild there ( https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/common-non-native-trees/larch/ ).  It is one of the deciduous conifers and the needles turn a lovely yellow in the fall before falling off the tree; it grows well in England (Miller, 1754).  Larch are mentioned in Mansfield Park, in the scene at Sotherton, and in Austen’s letters:

“A considerable flight of steps landed them in the wilderness, which was a planted wood of about two acres, and though chiefly of larch and laurel, and beech cut down, and though laid out with too much regularity, was darkness and shade, and natural beauty, compared with the bowling-green and the terrace.” (Mansfield Park 91)

“Our improvements have advanced very well; the bank along the elm wall is sloped down for the reception of thorns and lilacs, and it is settled that the other side of the path is to continue turfed, and to be planted with beech, ash, and larch.”  (Letters 25-27 October 1800, from Steventon)

“Hacker has been here to-day putting in the fruit trees. A new plan has been suggested concerning the plantation of the new inclosure of the right-hand side of the elm walk: the doubt is whether it would be better to make a little orchard of it by planting apples, pears, and cherries, or whether it should be larch, mountain ash, and acacia. What is your opinion? I say nothing, and am ready to agree with anybody.” ( Letters 20-21 November 1800, from Steventon)

Laurel, Cherry/Common Prunus laurocerasus

When “laurel” is used by Austen to refer to hedges, it is most likely Prunus laurocerasus (Evelyn 307; Mawe and Abercrombie “PRUNUS Lauro-cerasus”), also known as cherry, common, or English laurel. Mawe and Abercrombie describe the Common Laurel as being native around the Black Sea, but growing well in England and being “beautiful evergreen trees for ornamental plantations” (“PRUNUS Lauro-cerasus”).   Laurels are mentioned in Pride and Prejudice as the hedge surrounding the Collins’s parsonage. Laurels are also brought up twice in Mansfield Park, in the scene at Sotherton and at the parsonage grounds.  In Emma, Mrs. Elton compares the laurels at Hartfield to those at Maple Grove:

“At length the Parsonage was discernible. The garden sloping to the road, the house standing in it, the green pales, and the laurel hedge, everything declared they were arriving.” (Pride and Prejudice 155)

“A considerable flight of steps landed them in the wilderness, which was a planted wood of about two acres, and though chiefly of larch and laurel, and beech cut down, and though laid out with too much regularity, was darkness and shade, and natural beauty, compared with the bowling-green and the terrace.” (Mansfield Park 91)

“’I am so glad to see the evergreens thrive!’ said Fanny, in reply. ‘My uncle’s gardener always says the soil here is better than his own, and so it appears from the growth of the laurels and evergreens in general.’”  (Mansfield Park 209)

“The laurels at Maple Grove are in the same profusion as here, and stand very much in the same way—just across the lawn; and I had a glimpse of a fine large tree, with a bench round it, which put me so exactly in mind!”  (Emma 272)

Lilacs Syringa vulgaris

The lilacs that Jane Austen refers to in her letters are probably very similar to the lilacs that grow in the Pacific Northwest.  Mawe and Abercrombie note that lilacs are native to Persia and yet grow well in England (“SYRINGA Lilac”):

“Our improvements have advanced very well; the bank along the elm wall is sloped down for the reception of thorns and lilacs, and it is settled that the other side of the path is to continue turfed, and to be planted with beech, ash, and larch.”  (Letters 25-27 October 1800, from Steventon)

“Your lilacs are in leaf, ours are in bloom. The horse-chestnuts are quite out, and the elms almost. I had a pleasant walk in Kensington Gardens on Sunday with Henry, Mr. Smith, and Mr. Tilson; everything was fresh and beautiful.”  (Letters 25 April 1811, from Sloane St, London)

European lilacs, blooms are dried and brown due to summer season.

Lime, Common (called Linden in the US) Tilia x europaea

Limes or Lindens are mentioned in Evelyn (124) and Mawe and Abercrombie (“TILIA”) as trees that are well formed for avenues due to good shade and “quick and fine picturesque growth” (Mawe & Abercrombie).  Clark also mentions that limes would often be found in wilderness garderns.  At Godmersham Park, Jane’s brother Edward Austen Knight had lime avenues on the “principal walk” (Le Faye 237).  Limes are native to Britain (https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/a-z-of-uk-native-trees/common-lime/). Limes are only mentioned in Emma in the scene at Donwell Abbey:

“It was hot; and after walking some time over the gardens in a scattered, dispersed way, scarcely any three together, they insensibly followed one another to the delicious shade of a broad short avenue of limes, which stretching beyond the garden at an equal distance from the river, seemed the finish of the pleasure grounds.—It led to nothing; nothing but a view at the end over a low stone wall with high pillars, which seemed intended, in their erection, to give the appearance of an approach to the house, which never had been there.”  (Emma 360)

Maple, English/Field   Acer campestre

The English Maple is native to England (https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/a-z-of-uk-native-trees/field-maple/) and grows wild in the woods, although because it is a smaller maple, it is not always used in plantations (Mawe and Abercrombie “ACER Campestre” or Common Maple).  We would be remiss if we did not include maples to represent Mrs. Elton’s beloved Maple Grove from Emma:

“So extremely like Maple Grove! And it is not merely the house—the grounds, I assure you, as far as I could observe, are strikingly like.” (Emma 272)

Mulberry   Morus nigra

According to Mawe and Abercrombie, the black mulberry tree is the best of the mulberry trees for growing in England and produces the best fruit, although it is native to the far East (“MORUS Nigra”).  Mulberry trees are mentioned in Sense and Sensibility, as Mrs. Jennings describes Colonel Brandon’s estate to Elinor; and in one of Austen’s letters in a very funny line:

“’Delaford is a nice place, I can tell you; exactly what I call a nice old fashioned place, full of comforts and conveniences; quite shut in with great garden walls that are covered with the best fruit-trees in the country; and such a mulberry tree in one corner! Lord! how Charlotte and I did stuff the only time we were there! Then, there is a dove-cote, some delightful stew-ponds, and a very pretty canal; and every thing, in short, that one could wish for; and, moreover, it is close to the church, and only a quarter of a mile from the turnpike-road, so ’tis never dull, for if you only go and sit up in an old yew arbour behind the house, you may see all the carriages that pass along.’”  (Sense and Sensibility 197)

“I will not say that your mulberry-trees are dead, but I am afraid they are not alive.” (Letters 31 May 1811, from Chawton)

Myrtle       Myrtus communis

Mawe and Abercrombie note that common myrtle (“this celebrated plant of antiquity”) has to be grown in greenhouses in England (“MYRTUS Communis”), while other varieties need a hot-house. Myrtle is mentioned in Mansfield Park when Mary, Mrs. Grant, Fanny, and Edmund are discussing Mrs. Grant’s garden and her fear that her plants will freeze if left out, while Mary and Edmund have an intertwined conversation about money. Myrtle is also mentioned in one of the poems in the Juvenilia:

“I mean to be too rich to lament or to feel anything of the sort.  A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of. It certainly may secure all the myrtle and turkey part of it.”  (Mansfield Park  213)

Ode to Pity

“Ever musing I delight to tread
The Paths of honour and the Myrtle Grove
Whilst the pale Moon her beams doth shed
On disappointed Love.
While Philomel on airy hawthorn Bush
Sings sweet and Melancholy, And the thrush
Converses with the Dove.”  (Juvenilia 97)

Oak, English Quercus robur

Mawe and Abercrombie proclaim that English Oak is “the glory of the collection” (of oaks) because it is strong and produces durable timber (“QUERCUS”).  English Oak is native to England (https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/a-z-of-uk-native-trees/english-oak/) and is mentioned in the Juvenilia, as a good place to hide letters.  In Northanger Abbey, Henry mentions oak during the walk to Beechen Cliff and Catherine learns that oak surrounds the Abbey.  In Pride and Prejudice, oak is mentioned on the lawn at Pemberly.  In Mansfield Park, oak is the avenue of trees that Mr. Rushworth wants to cut down at Sotherton and the place where Fanny takes shelter outside the parsonage when it rains.

From “Amelia Webster”: “Letter the 4th To Miss S. Hervey
Dear Sally
I have found a very convenient old hollow oak to put our Letters in; for you know we have long maintained a private Correspondence. It is about a mile from my House and seven from yours. You may perhaps imagine that I might have made choice of a tree which would have divided the Distance more equally–I was sensible of this at the time, but as I considered that the walk would be of benefit to you in your weak and uncertain state of Health, I preferred it to one nearer your House, and am yr faithfull
Benjamin Bar”  (Juvenilia 59)

“Delighted with her progress, and fearful of wearying her with too much wisdom at once, Henry suffered the subject to decline, and by an easy transition from a piece of rocky fragment and the withered oak which he had placed near its summit, to oaks in general, to forests, the enclosure of them, waste lands, crown lands and government, he shortly found himself arrived at politics; and from politics, it was an easy step to silence.” (Northanger Abbey 111)

“Many were the inquiries she was eager to make of Miss Tilney; but so active were her thoughts, that when these inquiries were answered, she was hardly more assured than before, of Northanger Abbey having been a richly endowed convent at the time of the Reformation, of its having fallen into the hands of an ancestor of the Tilneys on its dissolution, of a large portion of the ancient building still making a part of the present dwelling although the rest was decayed, or of its standing low in a valley, sheltered from the north and east by rising woods of oak.” (Northanger Abbey 161)

 “On reaching the house, they were shown through the hall into the saloon, whose northern aspect rendered it delightful for the summer.  Its windows opening to the ground, admitted a most refreshing view of the high woody hills behind the house, and of the beautiful oaks and Spanish chesnuts which were scattered over the intermediate lawn.”  (Pride and Prejudice 267)

“Now, where is the avenue? The house fronts the east, I perceive. The avenue, therefore, must be at the back of it. Mr. Rushworth talked of the west front.”

“Yes, it is exactly behind the house; begins at a little distance, and ascends for half a mile to the extremity of the grounds. You may see something of it here–something of the more distant trees. It is oak entirely.”  (Mansfield Park 83)

“Fanny, having been sent into the village on some errand by her aunt Norris, was overtaken by a heavy shower close to the Parsonage; and being descried from one of the windows endeavouring to find shelter under the branches and lingering leaves of an oak just beyond their premises, was forced, though not without some modest reluctance on her part, to come in.”  (Mansfield Park 213)

Pear  Pyrus communis

The common pear is not native to England, but grows well there ( https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/common-non-native-trees/pear/).  Pears are mentioned in Persuasion in describing the parsonage at Upper Cross and in a letter of Austen from Steventon:

“Uppercross was a moderate-sized village, which a few years back had been completely in the old English style, containing only two houses superior in appearance to those of the yeomen and labourers; the mansion of the squire, with its high walls, great gates, and old trees, substantial and unmodernized, and the compact, tight parsonage, enclosed in its own neat garden, with a vine and a pear-tree trained round its casements….”  (Persuasion 33)

“Hacker has been here to-day putting in the fruit trees. A new plan has been suggested concerning the plantation of the new inclosure of the right-hand side of the elm walk: the doubt is whether it would be better to make a little orchard of it by planting apples, pears, and cherries, or whether it should be larch, mountain ash, and acacia. What is your opinion? I say nothing, and am ready to agree with anybody.”  (Letters 20-21 November 1800, from Steventon)

Pines, Scots Pinus sylvestris

Jane Austen mentions pines twice in the Juvenilia.  In Northanger Abbey, Austen uses the term “Scotch firs” for the gloomy walk that Mrs. Tilney liked. Historical gardening references suggest that Scotch fir is another name for Scots Pines in Britain (Miller “Pinus” and Hawe and Abercrombie “PINUS Sylvestris”).  Scots Pine is one of the few conifers native to Britain ( https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/a-z-of-uk-native-trees/scots-pine/ ).  Also, in Northanger Abbey, Catherine Morland mentions pines when she is thinking about Gothic works:

Ode to Pity (dated 1793):

“Ah! then what Lovely Scenes appear,
The hut, the Cot, the Grot, and Chapel queer,
And eke the Abbey too a mouldering heap,
Cnceal’d by aged pines her head doth rear
And quite invisible doth take a peep.” (Juvenilia 97)

From “Evelyn”:  “No house within a quarter of a mile, and a Gloomy Castle blackened by the deep shade of Walnuts and Pines, behind him.–He felt indeed almost distracted with his fears, and shutting his Eyes till he arrived at the Village to prevent his seeing either Gipsies or Ghosts, he rode on a full gallop all the way.”  (Juvenilia 240)

“It was a narrow winding path through a thick grove of old Scotch firs; and Catherine, struck by its gloomy aspect, and eager to enter it, could not, even by the General’s disapprobation, be kept from stepping forward.”  (Northanger Abbey 179)

“Of the Alps and the Pyrenees, with their pine forests and their vices, they might give a faithful delineation….” (Northanger Abbey 200)

Plums, Orleans   Prunus domestica

Plums are in the same genus with cherries and apricots and are “valuable fruit trees” (Mawe and Abercrombie “PRUNUS”).  Although they are not native to the UK, they grow well there (https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/common-non-native-trees/plum/). Plums are mentioned as a garden crop in a letter from Chawton:

“Our young piony at the foot of the fir-tree has just blown and looks very handsome, and the whole of the shrubbery border will soon be very gay with pinks and sweet-williams, in addition to the columbines already in bloom. The syringas, too, are coming out. We are likely to have a great crop of Orleans plumbs, but not many greengages — on the standard scarcely any, three or four dozen, perhaps, against the wall.”  (Letters 29 May 1811, from Chawton)

Ornamental Plum

Poplars, Lombardy      Populus nigra Italica

Although some poplars are native to the UK, the Lombardy poplar which quickly grows tall and straight are not native (Mawe and Abercrombie “POPULUS”). Lombardy poplars are mentioned in Sense and Sensibility at the estate of the Palmers and in “Evelyn” in the Juvenilia:

“It was in the exact centre of a small circular paddock, which was enclosed by a regular paling, and bordered with a plantation of Lombardy poplars, and Spruce firs alternatively placed in three rows. A gravel walk ran through this beautiful Shrubbery, and as the remainder of the paddock was unincumbered with any other Timber, the surface of it perfectly even and smooth, and grazed by four white Cows which were disposed at equal distances from each other, the whole appearance of the place as Mr Gower entered the Paddock was uncommonly striking.” (“Evelyn” Juvenilia 231)

“It had no park, but the pleasure-grounds were tolerably extensive; and like every other place of the same degree of importance, it had its open shrubbery, and closer wood walk, a road of smooth gravel winding round a plantation, led to the front, the lawn was dotted over with timber, the house itself was under the guardianship of the fir, the mountain-ash, and the acacia, and a thick screen of them altogether, interspersed with tall Lombardy poplars, shut out the offices.”  (Sense and Sensibility 302)

Roses Rosa

Mawe and Abercrombie note that roses are “the pride of the shrubby flowering tribe” and are excellent for adorning pleasure grounds (“ROSA”).  Roses are mentioned in the Juvenilia in “Evelyn”, which was probably written about 1792.  Catherine Morland is described as not liking to water roses in Northanger Abbey, although later in the novel Henry Tilney hopes she will come to love a rose.  In Mansfield Park, Fanny is tasked with picking roses and bringing them to Aunt Norris’s house on a hot day.  Finally, in a letter from Southampton, Austen reports that the roses currently in their garden are not of a good sort:

“For some months he found that he could not, till one day as he was walking in the Shrubbery with Maria leaning on his arm, they observed a rose full-blown lying on the gravel; it had fallen from a rose tree which with three others had been planted by Mr Webb to give a pleasing variety to the walk. These four Rose trees served also to mark the quarters of the Shrubbery, by which means the Traveller might always know how far in his progress round the Paddock he was got.” (“Evelyn” Juvenilia 234-5)

“She was fond of all boys’ plays, and greatly preferred cricket not merely to dolls, but to the more heroic enjoyments of infancy, nursing a dormouse, feeding a canary-bird, or watering a rosebush.” (Northanger Abbey 13)

“But now you love a hyacinth. So much the better.  You have gained a new source of enjoyment, and it is well to have as many holds upon happiness as possible. . . . And though the love of a hyacinth may be rather domestic, who can tell, the sentiment once raised, but you may in time come to love a rose?” (Northanger Abbey 174)

“Yes, indeed, Edmund,” added her ladyship, who had been thoroughly awakened by Mrs. Norris’s sharp reprimand to Fanny; “I was out above an hour. I sat three-quarters of an hour in the flower-garden, while Fanny cut the roses; and very pleasant it was, I assure you, but very hot. It was shady enough in the alcove, but I declare I quite dreaded the coming home again.”   (Mansfield Park 72)

“Our garden is putting in order by a man who bears a remarkably good character, has a very fine complexion, and asks something less than the first. The shrubs which border the gravel walk, he says, are only sweetbriar and roses, and the latter of an indifferent sort; we mean to get a few of a better kind, therefore, and at my own particular desire he procures us some syringas. I could not do without a syringa, for the sake of Cowper’s line. We talk also of a laburnum. The border under the terrace wall is clearing away to receive currants and gooseberry bushes, and a spot is found very proper for raspberries.”  (Letters 8-9 February 1807, from Southampton)

Spruce, Norway Picea abies

As mentioned under “Fir” (https://jasnaewanid.org/austens-trees-and-shrubs-a-k/), Austen uses the term “spruce fir” for what would now be called a Norway spruce, a usage that was common in England (Miller, 1735 edition).  Spruce firs are mentioned in “Evelyn”, which was probably written about 1792.  Although the tree is not mentioned specifically, in Emma, Mr. Knightley brews spruce beer, which is made with spruce needles (spruce beer is mentioned in Miller).  Finally, Austen mentions spruce firs in a letter from Steventon in 1800:

“It was in the exact centre of a small circular paddock, which was enclosed by a regular paling, and bordered with a plantation of Lombardy poplars, and Spruce firs alternatively placed in three rows. A gravel walk ran through this beautiful Shrubbery, and as the remainder of the paddock was unincumbered with any other Timber, the surface of it perfectly even and smooth, and grazed by four white Cows which were disposed at equal distances from each other, the whole appearance of the place as Mr Gower entered the Paddock was uncommonly striking.” (“Evelyn” Juvenilia 231)

“This was really his,” said Harriet.—”Do not you remember one morning?—no, I dare say you do not. But one morning—I forget exactly the day—but perhaps it was the Tuesday or Wednesday before that evening, he wanted to make a memorandum in his pocket-book; it was about spruce-beer. Mr. Knightley had been telling him something about brewing spruce-beer, and he wanted to put it down; but when he took out his pencil, there was so little lead that he soon cut it all away, and it would not do, so you lent him another, and this was left upon the table as good for nothing. But I kept my eye on it; and, as soon as I dared, caught it up, and never parted with it again from that moment.”  (Emma 339)

“We have had a dreadful storm of wind in the fore part of this day, which has done a great deal of mischief among our trees.–I was sitting alone in the dining-room  when an odd kind of crash startled me– in a moment afterwards it was repeated; I then went to the window, which I reached just in time to see the last of our two highly-valued Elms descend into the Sweep!!!! The other, which had fallen, I suppose, in the first crash, & which was the nearest to the pond, taking a more easterly direction, sank amongst our screen of Chestnuts and firs, knocking down one spruce fir, beating off the head of another, & stripping the two corner chestnuts of several branches in its fall.– This is not all–. One large Elm, out of the two on the left-hand side as you enter what I call the Elm walk, was likewise blown down…” (Letters 8–9 November 1800, from Steventon)

Syringa (Mock Orange)        Philadelphus coronaries

Syringa is mentioned in an Austen letter from Southampton in the context of William Cowper’s line: “Laburnum rich In streaming gold; syringa iv’ry-pure” from The Task, Book VI “The Winter Walk at Noon”.  Syringa at the time of Austen’s writing referred to Mock Orange, as is clear from Cowper’s “ivory pure” rather than lilacs (see also Wilson; Miller 1735 edition “Syringa” Philadelphus).  Austen also mentions having syringa in the garden at Chawton in another letter:

“Our garden is putting in order by a man who bears a remarkably good character, has a very fine complexion, and asks something less than the first. The shrubs which border the gravel walk, he says, are only sweetbriar and roses, and the latter of an indifferent sort; we mean to get a few of a better kind, therefore, and at my own particular desire he procures us some syringas. I could not do without a syringa, for the sake of Cowper’s line. We talk also of a laburnum. The border under the terrace wall is clearing away to receive currants and gooseberry bushes, and a spot is found very proper for raspberries.”  (Letters 8-9 February 1807, from Southampton)

“Our young piony at the foot of the fir-tree has just blown and looks very handsome, and the whole of the shrubbery border will soon be very gay with pinks and sweet-williams, in addition to the columbines already in bloom. The syringas, too, are coming out. We are likely to have a great crop of Orleans plumbs, but not many greengages — on the standard scarcely any, three or four dozen, perhaps, against the wall.”  (Letters 29 May 1811, from Chawton)

Walnut       Juglans regia

Mawe and Abercrombie note that walnut trees are useful for the nuts, timber, and for ornamental purposes, with the common walnut producing the largest nuts (“JUGLANS”).  Walnut trees are not native to Britain ( https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/common-non-native-trees/walnut/).  Walnut trees are mentioned in the Juvenilia and in Sense and Sensibility, where they are taken down at Norland Park by John Dashwood when he takes over the estate, much to Elinor’s dismay:

From “Evelyn”: “No house within a quarter of a mile, and a Gloomy Castle blackened by the deep shade of Walnuts and Pines, behind him.–He felt indeed almost distracted with his fears, and shutting his Eyes till he arrived at the Village to prevent his seeing either Gipsies or Ghosts, he rode on a full gallop all the way.”  (Juvenilia 240)

(Elinor asks her brother John:) “’Where is the green-house to be?’

‘Upon the knoll behind the house. The old walnut trees are all come down to make room for it. It will be a very fine object from many parts of the park, and the flower-garden will slope down just before it, and be exceedingly pretty. We have cleared away all the old thorns that grew in patches over the brow.’

Elinor kept her concern and her censure to herself….”  (Sense and Sensibility 226)

Yew  Taxus baccata

Yew trees are native and can be hundreds of years old in Britain ( https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/a-z-of-uk-native-trees/yew/ ). The yew in the churchyard at Steventon, Austen’s home until age 25, is thought to be several hundred years old (Wilson 15).  Yews are mentioned in both Sense and Sensibility, when Mrs. Jennings is describing Colonel Brandon’s estate to Elinor, and in Mansfield Park, when Henry Crawford is telling Edmund that he stumbled upon Thorton Lacey while out riding:

“Delaford is a nice place, I can tell you; exactly what I call a nice old fashioned place, full of comforts and conveniences; quite shut in with great garden walls that are covered with the best fruit-trees in the country; and such a mulberry tree in one corner! Lord! how Charlotte and I did stuff the only time we were there! Then, there is a dove-cote, some delightful stew-ponds, and a very pretty canal; and every thing, in short, that one could wish for; and, moreover, it is close to the church, and only a quarter of a mile from the turnpike-road, so ’tis never dull, for if you only go and sit up in an old yew arbour behind the house, you may see all the carriages that pass along.”  (Sense and Sensibility 197)

“I told you I lost my way after passing that old farmhouse with the yew-trees, because I can never bear to ask; but I have not told you that, with my usual luck–for I never do wrong without gaining by it–I found myself in due time in the very place which I had a curiosity to see. I was suddenly, upon turning the corner of a steepish downy field, in the midst of a retired little village between gently rising hills; a small stream before me to be forded, a church standing on a sort of knoll to my right–which church was strikingly large and handsome for the place, and not a gentleman or half a gentleman’s house to be seen excepting one—to be presumed the Parsonage–within a stone’s throw of the said knoll and church. I found myself, in short, in Thornton Lacey.”  (Mansfield Park 241)