A Tree in Argyle Street

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A Tree in Argyle Street

Postby Socceroo » Fri Sep 30, 2005 10:25 pm

Anyone ever wondered about the big Ash Tree in Argyle Street roughly opposite the Park Bar, this wee gem is another article which is taken from the book “From Glasgow’s Treasure Chest” by James Cowan :

A TREE IN ARGYLE STREET (August 1935)

At the west end of Argyle Street there is a four – storeyed tenement known as Franklin Terrace, which has a narrow strip of garden ground in front of it. About the middle of the tenement at No.1223 Argyle Street, there stands a very tall Ash tree, its highest branches reaching far above the top windows of the tenement.

This tree is unusually graceful for an Ash, its slender trunk almost being as straight as a ships mast; and there are no heavy side branches to spoil its symmetry. This slenderness is no doubt owing to the shaded position causing the tree to stretch up to the light. It is quite the most graceful Ash I have seen.

Vague sentimental stories are always apt to grow up around any interesting object of which the exact origin is not known, and I found this tree to be no exception; but in conversation with friend I learned exactly how it came to be there.

A friend of his used to live in the house in front of which the tree stands. A member of this friend’s family brought home some primrose roots from the place he had been on holiday, and set them out in the plot. The earth around one of those roots must have continued the Ash tree seed, and when the sapling came up it was allowed to remain. That story may not be so sentimentally interesting as one or two others which exist about the tree, but it has the merit of being the true one.

Not very long ago an adventurous cat made its way up the branches of this tree on a level with the rones of the tenement, and then found it could not come down again. For nearly two days it remained there, mewing piteously, until a telephone message was sent for the fire brigade to come and rescue it.

At first the Fire Brigade authorities demurred at being called upon for such a purpose, but at last it was recognised that nothing short of a fire escape would meet the case, and the very latest and longest was sent out. An exciting 20 minutes then ensued, during which long lines of traffic were held up, east and west, and at last pussy was rescued, to the great satisfaction of the cheering crowd who looked on.

As Franklin Terrace was built about 1850 (it appears for the first time in the Glasgow directory of 1851) and my informant could himself remember the tree in question as a quite large one in 1877, it is probable that its seed was set only a few years after the erection of tenement.

I estimate its height at about 75 feet, and if its age be taken at the same number of years, I think that will not be far from correct. It looks healthy enough to last for another 75 years, if allowed to remain, as I hope it will.


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Last edited by Socceroo on Sun Oct 02, 2005 11:17 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby McShad » Sat Oct 01, 2005 6:49 am

I wonder how many times the council have wanted to chop it as the roots must damage the pavements... the building foundations could have problems too.

As for the fire brigade... they are legally obliged to assist in rescueing animals in danger
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Postby Dexter St. Clair » Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:37 am

McShad wrote:I wonder how many times the council have wanted to chop it as the roots must damage the pavements... the building foundations could have problems too.

As for the fire brigade... they are legally obliged to assist in rescueing animals in danger



Wonder no more. The answer is zero.

Any firefighters on board for wonder boy's other query?
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Postby Grahame » Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:44 am

Nice wee story, Socceroo. I knew that this tree is famous for being the only tree in Argyle Street, but it's nice to know the story of its origin. I'd always assumed that it was a lone survivor of an avenue of such trees that were there before the street was built.
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A Tree in Argyle Street

Postby Socceroo » Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:52 am

If James Cowan is correct in his book then the tree was 75 years old in 1935, so that makes it about 145 years old now.

Its along the street from a wee building i am helping to renovate so i will take a photo of it and guesstimate its height in its present form.

I don't know too much about trees but i think Ash trees roots go down the way as much as out. I remember a sappling of one popped up in Belmont Crescent a few springs ago, it was less than a year old and i was asked to give a hand transplanting it. I was sorry i offered to help it was a tough little b****r!

Glasgow City Council seem to like their trees more than their buildings, the policy seems to be all trees are protected and they monitor them closely. If a building is protected then its up to the owner with little or no enforcement from the Council to upkeep it irrespective of the buildings status.

Tree huggers!
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Postby My Kitten » Sat Oct 01, 2005 11:28 am

McShad wrote:I wonder how many times the council have wanted to chop it as the roots must damage the pavements... the building foundations could have problems too.


As far as I know the Council are very proud of the single tree and are keen to keep it there.
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Postby McShad » Sat Oct 01, 2005 4:16 pm

wonder boy?
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Postby Pgcc93 » Sat Oct 01, 2005 4:20 pm

McShad wrote:wonder boy?


Ignore him, he's just being an arse.
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Postby McShad » Sun Oct 02, 2005 6:56 am

Ahh, ok then...

I was gently fizzing over that one
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Postby Pgcc93 » Sun Oct 02, 2005 10:15 am

McShad wrote:Ahh, ok then...

I was gently fizzing over that one


8) No worries man, When the bloods up just remember this saying 'it's only a website!' :wink: ::):
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Is it a Kinks song?

Postby Dexter St. Clair » Sun Oct 02, 2005 11:09 am

Pgcc93 wrote: 8) No worries man, When the bloods up just remember this saying 'it's only a website!' :wink: ::):



Good advice and don't start sentences with "I wonder" when caulkers are present.
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Postby scallopboy » Mon Jul 09, 2007 9:31 pm

It looks like the Argyle Street tree has some upcoming competition, but it's still a precocious bush at the moment

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Postby udrigle » Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:15 pm

:P In the early 80's, before we were married, my wife was living in the top flat in 1221 argyle street, the branches of the tree reached to their living room window. I am allergic to cats, so she didn't tell me she had one,and would hide it in another room when i visited. one afternoon i turned up unexpectedly with my dog. The dog saw the cat, chased it and the cat jumped right out the window. Thank god for that tree! It turns out it was used to climbing out onto its branches but it gave me a heck of a fright! :D
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Postby Dexter St. Clair » Sat Jul 14, 2007 5:38 am

That photo and your story would be just right for the Herald Diary particularly as Ken Smith is off on holiday. Cameron Simpson is desperate for anything funny.
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Re:

Postby Blindpilot » Thu Aug 21, 2008 12:45 am

scallopboy wrote:It looks like the Argyle Street tree has some upcoming competition, but it's still a precocious bush at the moment

Image


I don't want to revive dead threads or anything, but i live opposite this tree, and it is INVALUABLE when giving directions.
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