Guelder rose

This shrub can reach up to 4 meters high and is common in wet woodlands, hedgerows and along waterways. Its white flowers and red berries are an important food source for many insects and birds and its presence contributes to its area’s biodiversity.


Shrub growing to 3 meters tall common in hedgerows and along woodland edges; it produces white flowers gathered in one large flat-topped flowerhead (the umbel) and oblong, red berries.

White willow

Willow tree reaching up to 20 meters in height, often pollarded, found in Europe along riverbanks and in wet woodland. 
Cavities originated by pruning provide nesting sites for many bird species (such as the hoopoe, great tit and owl) and its thin, flexible branches can be used to create baskets.

Dog rose

Shrub normally reaching a height of 3 meters common throughout Europe in hedgerows and woodland edges; its stems are covered with prickles and its flowers are usually pale pink or white.

False acacia

This tree reaches a typical height of 25 meters and is native to North America, imported in Europe in the late 17th century. Its wood contains toxic substances that make it particularly resistant to pests and fungi. False acacia has always been valued for its scented flowers, both by bees (producing the renowned acacia honey) and by humans, who use it to make traditional fritters.

Common oak

Large tree reaching up to 40 meters in height, common in European deciduous forests, especially on level land with well-watered soils. In the past, common oak wood was used for manufacturing barrels for winemaking, while its smooth, oval acorns were usually fed to pigs.

Alder buckthorn

Bush or shrub growing up to 4 meters high, common throughout Europe in wet soils in open woods, scrublands, hedgerows and bogs; its small berries ripe from red in late summer to blue-black in early autumn.
Alder buckthorn blooms and bears fruit continuously for five months and, during this period, its flowers are valuable for bees and other pollinators while fruit is an important food source for many bird species.

Common hawthorn

Bush or shrub growing up to 10 meters high, common in European hedgerows and scrublands, from level ground to mid-mountain; the younger stems bear sharp thorns, approximately 1 centimeter long, and its fruit are small, red berry-like pomes.
This tree is valued for its importance to the local wildlife, especially to birds that find shelter and build their nest amid its thick foliage.


Shrubby tree growing up to 6 meters high, common in European hedgerows, on woodland edges and sparse scrublands. Hazelnuts, its fruit, are usually disseminated by a few bird species and rodents (such as the hazel dormouse, the wood mouse and the squirrel, whose presence has been recently observed at level ground); as a food source for many other animals, this tree contributes greatly to its area’s biodiversity. Hazel is a good firewood and many fungi fruit at its base, such as the highly valued truffles.

Common dogwood

Bush or shrub growing up to 5 meters high, widespread throughout Europe in hedgerows and scrublands; its blue-black fruits are not edible for humans but consumed by birds. In the past, its strong and flexible branches were employed to make rustic brooms for sweeping porches, stables, farmyards.

Field maple

Medium-sized tree reaching up to 20 meters high, common in wet woodlands across Europe, from level ground to mid-mountain; in Autumn its palmate leaves turn yellow.

Gray willow

Shrub growing to 5 meters tall common in wetlands and lake shores, its flowering starts before the leaves are produced. This species grows in damp areas and its foliage extends above the water creating shady areas valued by fish (especially pikes) and acting as a shelter for water birds (such as the common moorhen and the water rail), frogs and snakes.

Black elder

Shrub growing to 6 meters tall, very common in hedgerows and wet woodlands; its stems have a characteristic spongy core and both its flowers and berries are used for making juices and drinks. Its highly robust wood was once used to manufacture farm tools, tines for rakes and gear parts.

Black alder

Medium-sized tree reaching up to 30 meters high, common along waterways in Europe, Asia and northern Africa, from level ground to mid-mountain; this species is often kept at shrub size by pruning. In the past, given its ability to acquire resistance when immersed in water, alder wood was brought to the Venice area as construction material: the Rialto Bridge’s foundations are said to be made of this very type of wood.

London plane

Large tree growing exceptionally over 40 meters in height, it sheds its bark in characteristic plates. Originally from Greece, its diffusion in Italy began during the Napoleonic era as a decoration of tree-lined avenues and it is now often found planted along irrigation canals, due to its ability to retain the soil with its robust root system. Its wood was once used to produce the nails used by shoemakers. It is often found next to wayside shrines for the shadow offered by its thick foliage.

Black poplar

Large tree reaching 40 meters in height, widespread in the countryside along the waterways. Poplar wood is particularly light and it was once used for manufacturing tool handles, wooden clogs (locally known as “sgalmare”) and as firewood. This tree was also often planted to mark crossroads: as those intersections are no longer visible, today one can still rarely see a solitary tree in the middle of the fields.

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