Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Dr Johnson’s oak

Posted on by royvickery |

In addition to the mulberry and willow trees associated with Samuel Johnson (1709-84) and discussed elsewhere on this website, there are also vague rumours of an oak (Quercus) associated with him on the Lambeth part of Tooting Common, near the junction of Tooting Bec and Garrads Roads.

A rather irregular circle of lime (Tilia europaea) trees is said to mark where the tree once stood.  It is thought that the ‘mighty tree’, the trunk of which remained standing until 1919, was in fact an English elm (Ulmus procera), not an oak.

Presumably Johnson enjoyed, or sat under, the tree when was visiting his friends Henry and Hester Thrale, at nearby Streatham Park.

Photographed September 2021.

Edited 14 December 2021.

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