Street Trees of Tokyo

Shigemitsu Araki's web site ( last update : January 25, 2017 )

(since October 20, 2000)

Street Trees of Tokyo

Japanese version

Whether you’re just looking about neighbourhoods, or strolling along streets, trees provide a kind of mental refreshment for people living in big cities of Japan such as Tokyo or Osaka, where there is little chance of contacting "nature". In the case of Tokyo, more than 70 species of trees are planted as street trees and the total number of the street trees is approximately 950,000 (as of April, 2015). However the number of street trees per head is only 0.07, based on the statistics. Street trees sometimes represent the characteristics of the local flora and impress tourists. The pine trees (Pinus densiflora) along the main road between Hakodate and Ohnuma in Hokkaido, Japanese ceders (Cryptomeria japonica) along the Nikko Highway in Japan, and plane trees in Kensington Street in London were especially impressive for me. Unfortunately, most of the street trees in Japan are eccessively pruned under the excuse of preventing toppling or ‘windthrow’during the typhoon season in autum. Consequently, street trees in Japan are, on average, comparatively small. Even so, there are several places where street trees, together with the surrounding buildings, are creating beautiful scenery. In this website, I want to introduce to you the major street trees of Tokyo through my photographs. I hope you enjoy my presentation.

Links

Author : Shigemitsu Araki

E-mail :s-araki@interlink.or.jp
Tel & fax : 81-3-3815-0770

C O N T E N T S

Ranking ( Population in Tokyo )Name of the trees
1(64,237)Ginkgo(Ginkgo biloba)----Icho
2(50,743)Flowering dogwood(Cornus florida )-----Hanamizuki
3(39,532)Cherry tree(Prunus yedoensis / Prunus lannesiana)-----Sakura
4(39,532)Plane tree(Platanus acerifolia)-----Suzukakenoki
5(36,654)Trident maple(Acer buergerianum)-----Tokaede
6(30,011) Zelkova(Zelkova serrata)-----Keyaki
7(19,637) Camphor tree(Cinnamomum camphora)-----Kusunoki
8(16,618)Pasania edulis or lithocarpus edulis)">(Pasania edulis)-----Matebashii
9(15,777)Japanese pagodatree(Sophora japonica)-----Enju
10(12,636)Wax myrtle(Myrica rubra)-----Yamamomo
11( 9,867) Tulip tree(Liriodendron tulipifera)-----Yurinoki
12( 9,417 )Kobus magnolia(Magnolia kobus)-----Kobushi
13( 8,827) Sweetgum(Liquidambar styraciflua)-----Momijibafu
14( 6,078 ) Horse chestnut(Aesculus turbinata)-----Tochinoki
15( 6,535 ) Weeping willow(Salix babylonica)-----Shidareyanagi
16( 6,365 )Phoenix tree or chinese parasoltree(Firmiana platanifolia or Firmiana simplex)-----Aogiri
17( 6,045)Crape myrtle(Lagerstroemia indica)-----Sarusuberi
18( 5,995 )Shirakashi oak(Quercus myrsinaefolia)-----Shirakashi
19( 5,755 )Common camellia(Camellia japonica )-----Tsubaki
20( 5,544 )Sasanqua camellia(Camellia sasanqua)-----Sazanka
*( 5,146 )palm(Livistona chinensis)-----Biro
*( 5,166 )Chinese elm(Ulmus parvifolia)-----Akinire
*( 2,210 )False acacia(Robinia pseudoacacia)-----Niseakashia
*( 3,704 )Ubame oak(Quercus phillyraeoides)-----Ubamegashi
*( 338 )Carolina poplar(Populus angulata)-----Karorinapopura
*( --- )Metasequoia(Metasequoia glyptostroboides)-----Metasekoia
*( --- )Katura tree(Cercidiphyllum japonicum)-----Katsura
*( 687 )Japanese ash(Fraxinus japonica)-----Toneriko
*( --- )Japanese black pine(Pinus thunbergiana)-----Kuromatsu
*( --- )Cockspur coral tree(Erythrina crista-galli)-----Amerikadeiko
*( --- )Southern magnolia(Magnolia grandiflora)-----Taisanboku
*( 315 )Tree of heaven(Ailanthus alltissima)-----Shinju
*( --- )Desert fan palm ( Washingtonia filifera )-----Washintonyashi
*( --- )Japanese snowbell (Styrax japonicus )-----Egonoki
*( --- ) Olive(Olea europaea )----Oribu
*( --- )Natsudaidai orange or Japanese summer orange(Citrus natsudaidai ) -----Natsumikan
*( --- )Fragrant snowbell (Styrax obassia )-----Hakuunboku
*( --- )Snow flower (Chionanthus retusus )-----Hitotsubatago
*( --- ) Althaea or rose of Sharon(Hibiscus syriacus )-----Mukuge
*( --- ) Chinese tallow tree(Sapium sebiferum)-----Nankinhaze
*( --- ) Chinese quince(Pseudocydonia sinensis)-----Karin
*( --- )(Dendropanax trifidus )-----kakuremino
*( --- ) Japanese linden(Tilia japonica)-----Shinanoki
*( --- )Japanese stewartia(Stewartia pseudo-camellia)-----Natsutsubaki
*( --- )Yulan magnolia(Magnolia denudata)-----Hakumokuren
*( --- )Peach(Prunus persica)-----Momo
*( --- )(Elaeocarpus sylvetris)-----Horutonoki

Click on the images for a larger view

(Reference:"Map of Street trees in Tokyo, 2004" by Tokyo Metropolitan Office)


1.ginkgo(Ginkgo biloba)-----Icho


(Location : Jingu-gaien, Minato-ku)

Ginkgo is the " Tree of Tokyo". Although fruit of ginkgo can cause skin irritation, its nut is edible and is commonly used as a ingredient of "chawan-mushi( a savory steamed egg custard with assorted ingredients)".


(Location : Yushima icchome, Bunkyo-ku)

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2. plane tree, sycamore(Platanus acerifolia)-----Suzukakenoki


(Location : Ichigaya-Yanagicho, Shinjuku-ku)

Platanus acerifolia is a hybrid species of platanus orientalis and platanus occidentalis and is widely used as street trees throughout the world.

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3.flowering dogwood(Cornus florida )/Japanese dogwood ( Cornus kousa)

(Cornus florida)-----Hanamizuki

(Location : Kudan-kita, Chiyoda-ku)

(Cornus kousa)-----Yamaboshi

It is well known that dog wood( Cornus florida ) was first introduced to Japan from United States in 1915 in return to the cherry trees presented to U.S.A (Washington D.C.) by Tokyo city. The first dog wood from United States, planted in Hibiya park of Tokyo, is still alive. Ranking of dog wood (cornus florida) as street trees in Tokyo has risen shrply in recent years, probably because of its lovely flowers.

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4.trident maple(Acer buergerianum)-----Tokaede


(Locatio : Gobancho, Chiyoda-ku)

Among several species of maples, acerbuergeriana is exclucively used as street trees in Tokyo. Origin of this tree is southeast China and it was imported to Japan in early 18th century.

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5.cherry tree(Prunus yedoensis / Prunus lannesiana)

(Prunus yedoensis)-----Someiyoshino

(Location : Koishikawa, Bunkyo-ku)

(Prunus lannesiana)-----Satozakura
(Location : Yotsuya, Chiyoda-ku)

Cherry tree or "sakura" can be divived into several species( refer to the "Prunum database"in the Links ). Among them, I personally prefer "var.Lannesiana( satozakura )". However,"Prunus yedoensis( somei-yoshino )" is the most popular species of sakura in Japan.

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6.zelkova(Zelkova serrata)-----Keyaki


(Location : Omotesandou, Harajuku, Shibuya-ku)

Omotesandou in Shibuya-ku is one of the most fancy street in Tokyo and is always crowded with youngsters. Although it was terminated a few years ago, tree illumination of this street in winter time was also very attractive.


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7.camphor tree(Cinnamomum camphora)-----Kusunoki


(Location : Sakurada Street, Chiyoda-ku, near the Police Headquater)

Camphor can be extracted from leaves and the twigs of this tree and it smells good when its leaves are rubbed or wrinkled.

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8.Japanese pagoda tree (Sophora japonica)-----Enju


(Location : near Shiba Park, Minato-ku)

Japanese pagoda tree looks like "false acacia" very much, excepting its flowering season. Origin of this tree is China and it is sometimes called Chinese scholar tree.

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9. pasania edulis or lithocarpus edulis(Pasania edulis)-----Matebashii


(Location : Hongo-6-chome, Bunkyo-ku)

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10.wax myrtle(Myrica rubra)-----Yamamomo


(Location : Kanda, Chiyoda-ku near the JR Ochanomizu Station)

Darkred fruit of this tree is edible(sour-sweet).

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11.sweetgum(Liquidambar styraciflua)-----Momijibafu


(Location : Takashimadaira, Itabashi-ku)

Origin of sweetgum is U.S.A(New Jersey to Texas and Florida).

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12.tulip tree(Linriodendron tulipifera)-----Yurinoki


(Location : Motoakasaka, Minato-ku near the National Guesthouse)

Japanese name "yuri no ki" can literally be translated as "lily tree". Tulip tree is also commonly called "hanten-boku(hanten tree)" in Japan, becuse of the resemblance of its leaf to "hanten (Japanese style workmans coat)".

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13.kobus magnolia(Magnolia kobus)-----Kobushi


(Location : Ichinoe, Edogawa-ku)

Origin of kobus magnolia was most probably named after the fact that the shape of the bud resembles "kobushi (fist)". The lightly fragrant blooms, which appear all over the tree in spring before the new leaves unfold, are ivory-colored to pink and 5-10 cm in diameter.

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14.phoenix tree or chinese parasoltree (Firmiana platanifolia or Firmiana simplex)-----Aogiri


(Location : Kitaaoyama, Minato-ku)

Phoenix tree is sometimes misunderstood as a family member of "paulonia" in Japan, because of its Japanese name "ao-giri( blue paulonia)".

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15.horse chestnut (Aesculus turbinata)-----Tochinoki

(Location : Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku)


French name "marronnierr" is very popular throughout the world.The tree usually develops leaf scorch in drought or disease (powdery mildew or blotch disease)during summer, causing leaves to drop.

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16.weeping willow(Salix babylonia)">-----Shidareyanagi


(Location : Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku)

Although the scientific name is "babylonica", its origin is supposed to be asia(probably China). Leaves of weeping willow is green over 10 months of a year( very close to "ever green" ).

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17.crape myrtle(Lagerstroemia indica)-----Sarusuberi


(Location : Takashimadaira, Itabashi-ku)

Bark of crape myrtle is thin and easily exfoliated by mechnical impact, leaving very smooth(slippery) trunk. Japanese name "saru-suberi (monkey slip) is named after its slippery trunk.

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18.Quercus myrsinaefolia(Auercus myrsinaefolia)-----Shirakashi


(Location : Shinbashi, Minato-ku)

Quercus myrsinaefolia is the most popular genus of oak in Kanto area.

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19.chinese fan palm(Livistona chinensis)-----Biro


20.
Chinese elm(Ulmus parvifolia)-----Akinire


(Location : Nishidai, Itabashi-ku)

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common camellia(Camellia japonica)-----Tsubaki

(Location : near Habu harbor, Oshima)

(Location : Kaigan-icchome, Minato-ku)

Although the total number of street trees of Camellia japonica is ranked 20th(according to the 1997 statistics), they are locally planted in the remote island of Ohshima. On the other hand, as Camellia sasanqua is widely planted in the urban area of Tokyo, they are much more familiar for the people living at the center of Tokyo.

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sasanqua camellia(Camellia sasanqua)-----Sazanka


(Location : Koishikawa, Bunkyo-ku)

The number of sasannqua camellia used as street tree seems ro be increasing , probably because of its long bloomig period.

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false acacia or black locust(Robinia pseudoacacia)-----Niseakashia


(Location : Chuo Street, Mitaka City )

Although false acacia grows rapidly and its flower is beatiful, it is not so widely adopted as street trees, because it is not resistant to wind and is susceptible to desease.

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ubame oak(Quercus phillyraeoides)-----Ubamegashi


(Location : Ichigaya, Shinjuku-ku)

High quality charcoal "Binchotan" used for boiling water at tea ceremony is manufactured from this tree.

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carolina poplar(Populus angulata)-----Karorinapopura


(Location : Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, near the St Kuke's International Hospital)

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metasequoia or dawn redwood(Metasequoia glyptostroboides)-----Metasekoia

(Location : Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku)

(Location : Ariake, Koto-ku)

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katura tree(Cercidiphyllum japonicum)-----Katsura


(Location : Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku)

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Japanese ash(Fraxinus japonica)-----Toneriko

(Location : Shiratori-2chome, Katsushika-ku)

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Japanese black pine(Pinus thunbergiana)-----Kuromatsu


(Location : near Fuchu Art Theater, Fuchu City)

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cockspur coral tree(Erythrina crista-galli)-----Amerikadeiko

(Location : near the United States Embassy, Akasaka, Minato-ku)

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southern magnolia or cucumber tree(Magnolia grandiflora)-----Taisanboku


(Location : Near the JR Meguro Station, Meguro-ku)

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tree of heaven(Ailanthus altissima)-----Shinju


(Location : Near Yoyogi Park, Shibuya-ku)

Japanese common name "shinju" means "tree of god".

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desert fan palm ( Washingtonia filifera )-----Washintonyasi

(Location : Ariake, Koto-ku) (Location : Rinkai-cho, Edogawa-ku)

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Japanese snowbell (Styrax japonicus )-----Egonoki


(Location : Shinjuku 1-chome, Shinjuku-ku)

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olive (Olea europaea )-----Oribu

(Location : Tamachi 3-chome, Minato-ku)

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natsudaidai (Citrus natsudaidai )-----Natsumikan


(Location : Shiratori 2-chome, Katsushika-ku)

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fragrant snowbell (Styrax obassia )-----Hakuunboku


(Location : Eifuku 3-chome, Suginami-ku)

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snow flower (Chionanthus retusus )-----Hitotsubatago


(Location : Nukii-kitamachi, Koganei City)

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althaea, rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus )-----Mukuge


(Location : Hitotsuya 2-chome, Adachi-ku)

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Chinese tallow tree(Sapium sebiferum)-----Nankinhaze

(Location : Ariake, Koto-ku)

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Chinese quince(Pseudocydonia sinensis(Dendropanax trifidus Japanese linden(Tilia japonicaJapanese stewartia(Stewartia pseudo-camelliayulan magnolia(Magnolia denudatapeach(Prunus persica(Elaeocarpus sylvetrisLinks:

Nihonkoryu Ikebana School(http:// www.nihonkoryu.org)
Jomonjin(http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~XR3F-MRY/)
Album of fallen leaves(http://www.emiko.com/ochiba/)
Prunus Database(http://www.db.its.hiroshima-cu.ac.jp/~kitakami/sakura.html)

Author:

Shigemitsu Araki
Born in August 17,1936
Member of the "Nihon Shokubutsu Tomonokai (Japan Botanical Association)"
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