Leixlip Tidy Town’s New Tree Trail​


Leixlip Main Street is too narrow to accommodate large mature trees such as found in many other  towns and villages. This gives the erroneous impression that Leixlip is devoid of mature trees. Nothing could be further from the truth; in fact Leixlip has a rich tree heritage, some old and magnificent, some native, and some foreign and exotic. To illustrate and promote Leixlip’s tree heritage, Leixlip Tidy Town Association (LTTA) has developed a Tree Trail, a recognised method of generating interest in trees in local communities. The objective is to educate our community, particularly its younger members, on the vital role of trees in our daily lives. They sequester carbon thereby mitigating global warming, they contribute to biodiversity and they visually enhance the landscape. Initially, securing the necessary finance was an obstacle but an Intel Pride of Place award of €4,000 eased that problem. 

Picture 1.  During Covid, a socially distant presentation of the Intel cheque to Gerry Keane and Berni Brennan of LTTA

Planning the Tree Trail

A professional arborist was engaged to advise on planning the Trail and to oversee its development. The first task was to choose the route which was then marked on an enlarged Ordnance Survey map. The route was largely determined by four locations with a diversity of mature trees, namely the Church Grounds/Parish Centre, Wild Meadow, Squirrel Wood and Rye River Walk. Linking these were four other stages making for an 8 stage Trail in total. The Trail starts on Old Hill with a large Trail Head information panel (Picture 2) listing the 8 stages of the Trail together with a map of the Trail route The panel text is in both English and Irish.

Picture 2.  Leixlip Tree Trail Information Panel

Developing the Tree Trail

Numbers and English Names

The number of trees together with their English or common names labelled at each location is shown in Table 1. In total, 71 trees are labelled. It is not best practice to affix labels to trees so labelling is by means of posts cemented into the ground beside the trees. These posts are made from recycled plastic and are long lasting. They are 1.5m in length of which 0.5m with a 25cm iron crossbar is inserted into the ground in quick–setting concrete.  The top of the post which is 1.0m above ground is angled to accommodate the tree name plate. The name plate shows the Tree Family together with the name of the tree in English, Irish and Latin (Picture 3). The 71 labelled trees comprise of 38 different species / types and 13 different families

The below tables are best viewed on desktop/laptop


OrderStageLocation No.*Common Name
11Old Hill1Monterey Cypress
22Common Beech
32Parish Centre1Cherry Plum
42Horse Chestnut
64Pissard’s Plum
75Silver Birch
83aChurch Grounds1Sycamore
92Lawson Cypress / Port Orford Cedar
103Small Leaved Lime
123bStation Road1Pissard’s Plum
132Cherry Plum
154Wild Meadow1Mountain Ash or Rowan
162Common Alder
173Common Ash
195Small Leaved Lime
206Common Hornbeam
217River Birch
228Irish Oak
239Pedunculate Oak
2410Field Maple
2511Strawberry Tree
2612Snowy Mespil
2713Downy Birch
2814Turkey Oak
2915Horse Chestnut
3016Common Beech
3117Silver Birch
3218Grey Alder
3319Himalayan Birch
3420Claret / Raywood Ash 
355Ryevale Road1Common Hornbeam – line of them 
362Silver Birch
376Squirrel Wood1Common Elder
381Mountain Ash or Rowan
403Horse Chestnut
414Horse Chestnut
425Downy Birch
436Common Ash
458Blue Atlas Cedar
4710Silver Birch
4912Small Leaved Lime
5013Leyland Cypress – line of them 
517Ryevale Lawns Park 1Mountain Ash or Rowan
522Silver Birch
533Wild Cherry or Gean
544Silver Birch
558Rye River Walk1Blackthorn
562Common Ash
584Leyland Cypress ‘Silver Dust
595Goat Willow
606Field Maple
617Horse Chestnut
628Common Elder
6410Common Elder
6612Crack Willow
6713Common Ash
6915Golden Weeping Willow 
7117Wild Cherry or Gean
* Within Stage

Picture 3.  Some of the Tree Name Posts

Common, Irish and Latin Names of Trees and Families

The common (or English), Latin and Irish names of the 38 different tree species / types labelled are shown in Table 2. The Latin version is the definitive tree name. In a small number of cases the label refers to a line of trees, e.g. the line of Hornbeams on Ryevale Road and the line of Leyland Cypresses along Ryevale House perimeter fence. The number of trees of each species in the Trail is shown in Table 2. Nineteen species have just one member, 10 have two, 6 have 3, and three have 4 or more members. Also shown in Table 2 are the tree families and the locations on the Trail of the different tree species. The 38 species /types in the Trail represent 13 different tree families. As with species, most families have only one or two members but two families, Betulaceae and Rosaceae, are unusually abundant with 17 and 18 members each.    


Common NameLatin NameIrish NameNo. of this SpeciesTree FamilyNo of this FamilyWhere Found
Monterey CypressCupressus macrocarpa Cufróg Monyerey1CUPPRESSACEAE4Old Hill
Common BeechFagus sylvatica Feá2FAGACEAE5Old Hill, Wild Meadow
Horse ChestnutAesculus hippocastanum Crann Cnó Capaill5HIPPOCASTANACEAE5Parish Centre, Wild Meadow, Squirrel Wood3
Silver BirchBetula pendula Beith Gheal6BETULACEAE17Parish Centre, Wild Meadow, Ryevale Road4
Cherry PlumPrunus cerasifera ‘Nigra’ Crann Plumaí Sílíneacha2ROSACEAE18Parish Centre, Station Road, 
Pissard’s PlumPrunus cerasifera ‘Pissardii’2 Crann Plumaí Pissard2ROSACEAEParish Centre, Station Road, 
WhitebeamSorbus ariaFionncholl2ROSACEAEParish Centre, Station Road, 
SycamoreAcer pseudoplatanus Seiceamóir3ACERACEAE5Church Grounds, Squirrel Wood, Rye River Walk
Lawson Cypress1 Chamaecyparis laws-oniana Curfóg Lawson 1CUPRESSACEAEChurch Grounds
YewTaxus baccata Iúr2TAXACEAE2Church Grounds, Squirrel Wood
Small Leaved LimeTilia cordata Teile Mhoinduilleach3TILLACEAE3Church Grounds, Wild Meadow Squirrel Wood
Field MapleAcer campestre Mailp3ACERACEAEWild Meadow, Rye River Walk
Common AlderAlnus glutinosa Fearnóg1BETULACEAEWild Meadow
Grey AlderAlnus incana Fearnóg Liath1BETULACEAEWild Meadow
Snowy MespilAmelanchier lamarckii Úlláinséar1ROSCAEAEWild Meadow
Strawbrry TreeArbutus unedo Caithne1ERICACEAE1Wild Meadow
River BirchBetula nigra Beith Abhann1BETULACEAEWild Meadow
Downy BirchBetula pubescens Beith Chlúmhach2BETULACEAEWild Meadow, Squirrel Wood
Himalayan BirchBetula utilisBeith Himiléach1BETULACEAEWild Meadow
Common HornbeamCarpinus betulus Crann Sleamhain2BETULACEAEWild Meadow, Ryevale Road (line of them)
Claret / Raywood Ash Fraxinus angustifolia ‘Raywood’ Fuinseog Chaol1OLEACEAE5Wild Meadow
Common AshFraxinus excelsior Fuinseog4OLEACEAEWild Meadow, Squirrel Wood, Rye River Walk
HollyIlex acquifoliumCuileann1AQUILFOLIACEAE1Wild Meadow
Turkey OakQuercus cerris Searbhdhair1FAGACEAEWild Meadow
Irish OakQuercus petraea Dair Ghaelach1FAGACEAEWild Meadow
Pedunculate OakQuercus robur Dair Ghallda1FAGACEAEWild Meadow
Mountain Ash or RowanSorbus aucuparia Caorthann3ROSCAEAEWild Meadow, Squirrel Wood, Ryevale Park
Blue Atlas CedarCedrus atlantica ‘Glauca’ Cédar Atlais Gorm1PINACEAE1Squirrel Wood
HawthornCrataegus monogyna Sceach Gheal3ROSACEAESquirrel Wood, Rye River Walk
Leyland Cypress x Cupressocyparis leylandii Cufróg Leyland2CUPRESSACEAE Squirrel Wood (line of them), Rye River Walk
AspenPopulus tremula Crann Creathach1SILICACEAE4Squirrel Wood
Common ElderSambucus nigra Trom3BETULACEAERye River Walk
Wild Cherry or GeanPrunus avium Crann Siliní Fiáin2ROSACEAERyevale Park, Rye River Walk
HazelCorylus avellana Coill1BETULACEAERye River Walk
BlackthornPrunus spinosa Draighean2ROSACEAERye River Walk
Crack WillowSalix fragilis Crack Crann Saileach1SALICACEAERye River Walk
Golden Weeping Willow Salix x sepulcralis ‘Chrysocoma’Saileach Shilte1SALICACEAERye River Walk
Goat WillowSalix caprea Sailchearnach1SALICACEAERye River Walk

1 or Port Orford Cedar

    2 ‘Atropurpurea’

   3  also Rye River Walk

   4  also Squirrel Wood and Ryevale Park 



A new logo was designed especially for the Tree Trail (Picture 4). It is on all the tree name posts and the associated guide posts. This is to differentiate the Tree Trail posts from other trail or guide posts which may be at the same locations. Also, the LTTA logo was modified especially for the Tree Trail (Picture 5). Both logos are on the Trail Head panel and on all the posts. The Trail Head panel also has the Intel and Kildare Co. Council logos.

Picture 4. Leixlip Tree Trail Logo
Picture 5. Leixlip Tidy Town Logo

Did you know?

  • Trees add to the beauty of the landscape, not only in the countryside but also in our towns and villages. They contribute to the sequestration of carbon, aid in reducing flooding, remove dust and harmful particles from the air we breathe, enhance biodiversity.
  • There are over 13,000 placenames in Ireland that derive in some way from trees, forests or wood.
  • There is a growing trend by many health professionals to prescribe a walk in a wood or park for people suffering from mental health problems.
  • It is estimated that in 2500 BC the extent of forest cover in Ireland was 80% of the land area. By 1900 less than 1% of our native woodlands remained. The proportion of woodland has greatly increased since then but Ireland still has one of the lowest woodland covers in Europe at ca. 11% compared to a European average of over 40%.
  • Oak has been identified at numerous Irish prehistoric sites, especially in Crannógs. Crannógs were artificial islands, built in lakes or marshes which provided protection for the people who lived there.
  • There were specific Brehon laws dealing with trees. Under these laws, certain trees and shrubs were protected because of their importance to the community. Penalties were imposed for any unlawful damage such as branch-cutting, de-barking or base-cutting.