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Mikado Willow

This Chinese Weeping Willow has remarkable story to tell!

Arthur Sullivan, the renowned composer, used to write music in his summerhouse which stood on D'Oyly Carte Island on the Thames, near Weybridge.  Hanging over the summer house was a large Chinese Weeping Willow, Salix babylonica, which is said to have inspired a song in The Mikado.  Called 'On a tree by a river' the first lines read:

On a tree by a river a little tom-tit
Sang "Willow, titwillow, titwillow!"

Subsequently this tree was called the Tit Willow tree.

In 1953, the tree was felled but a local resident took two cuttings, one of which was given to Dr Hytten who lived in Scotland. Years later, when he moved to Great Missenden he took a further cutting.

Therefore, this special tree is the 'grandaughter' of the original Tit Willow Tree!

Photo by Dr Hytten

The Mikado tree stands within a fine collection of trees including 25 species of Eucalyptus and an Acer collection.

This garden is open for the National Garden Scheme.


This tree and others in the collection can be visited by appointment only. Please contact Dr Hytten on blossoms@chearsley.com to arrange a visit.


Great Missenden

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