The trees of Piešťany

Thanks to its climate Piešťany can boast of its great variety of woody species. In both, the Piešťany parks and throughout the whole area of the town we can find not only a lot of original trees but even rare exotic ones.

Apart from the aesthetic experience of their apperception they provide a place to relax and rest for the residents and visitors of Piešťany. They turn the environment into a pleasant one and put the finishing touches to atmosphere of the spatown. It should be an innate need of every human being to protect and preserve the natural treasure they represent for future generations.

Of the many Piešťany trees we will stop at those which are, at least, outstanding due to their origin or appearance and because their presence in Slovakia is a rarity. Their beauty and uniqueness definitely deserves your attention.

Hybrid Plane (Platanus x acerifolia) - these trees can be as high as 40 m with large crown; they are very valuable from the architectural point of view. The mostspread “European” Plane is a hybrid of the Oriental Plane (Platanus orientalis) with the American Plane (American sycamore). In our region, it is grown from around 1835. These trees reach respectable dimensions in several places in Slovakia. The plane tree behind the Thermia Palace Hotel can be considered a giant. The Plane Tree adjusts in optimal way to climatic changes. Plane Tree wood is hard and has characteristic exfoliating bark that leaves its trunk like blemished.

Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia x soulangeana) is a hybrid plant in the Magnoliagenus and Magnoliaceae family. It was named after Pierre Magnol, the Paris Botanic Garden Director, where the hybrid was created in 1826. The deciduous large shrub or a multi - trunk tree usually grows up to 9 m in height. Large bell shaped flowers have from white up to purple colour depending on the cultivar; it flowers in May. The oldest shrubs next to the Hotel Slovan have their flowers rose in colour, those next to the Thermia Palace Hotel are white. The red knaggy fruits mature in September. To grow and multiply this tree requires sheltered place and gardening expertise.

Southern Catalpa (Catalpa bignonioides) - a majestic tree with large decorative leaves, white to rose flowers and interesting fruits in the shape of cigars, make up for a commonly interconnected dynamic rhythm during the year. Southern Catalpa is beautiful in every season. These trees originally grew at banks of the streams and in the lowerland forests at the US South - East; they found their use in our parks and gardens where they tower like solitaires, mainly in protected and warm localities. This Catalpa was planted at the Spa Island after 1945. In its lying position, it is opening the access to thermal ponds for the last several decades. It is 15 m tall, flowers in July, and the fruits stay on the tree for the whole next year..


Gingko dvojlaločné (Ginkgo biloba) - it is considered the oldest “living fossil” on Earth; it is the Earth’s vegetation for more than 200 mil years. It also is the ancient cult plant of the Far East, grown in the settlements and cloisters proximity. The individual tree can live up to 2 000 years. The first Gingko trees were brought to Europe from China around 1730, and since that time, they are grown in many gardens, parks and flora collections as botanical curiosities with great aesthetical value. Its elegant pyramid - like crowns reach the height at around 20 m, its leaves colour in beautiful banana yellow in the autumn; the cherry - size fruit requires proximity of a he and she tree for its maturation. The Ginkgo in the Town Park next to the Hotel Leier is around 90 years old.

Black Poplar (Populus nigra) - is native to the whole Central Europe, Southwest and Central Asia, and Northwest Africa. Its natural environment is the river and stream sandbanks. Although it is valuable country outlook forming wood, various hybrids were replacing it in the last century. Huge trees can reach 30 m in their old age (around 80 years). The Piešťany specimen (in the past regularly flooded area of Lodenica and the local camp, before the Máj Hotel and in the vicinity of the Rympler’s place in the village of Banka) are up to 150 years old, measure 4-5 min circumference and are considered the oldest and the most valuable pieces in Piešťany area.

Goldenrain Tree, Pride of India, or China Tree (Koelreutheria paniculata) - it is a small to medium - sized deciduous tree growing up to 17 m, with a broad, dome - shaped crown. It originates from Eastern Asia and its dry valleys. In Slovakia, it grows up to 10 m. The leaves are pinnate, 15 - 40 cm (rarely to 50 cm) long, with 7 - 15 leaflets 3 - 8 cm long, with a deeply serrated margin; they are red in colour in autumn. The yellow flowers growing in rich large terminal panicles 20 - 40 cm long are equally interesting in June and July as well as reddish - brown inflated pods that cover the whole tree at the end of summer. The Goldenrain Tree is sought after alley and park tree for its colourfulness. The most beautiful Piešťany specimen adorns the chapel before the Colonnade Bridge.

American Tulip Tree, Tulip Poplar or Yellow Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) - this beautiful, ambidextrous tree with elegant crown reaches height of 40 m. It is very old wood known from the Cretaceous period. It was brought to Europe from America very early (1663) for its quality colour wood and interesting outlook. Its lyre shaped leaves colour to rich yellow in the autumn; its flowers sized like tulips and of yellow - green colour with orange pattern (June to July) make it very valuable to the parks and country. The tallest of the Piešťany Tulip Poplars canbe found in the triangle opposite to the Colonnade Bridgeentry.

Dawn Redwood (Metasequoja glyptostroboides) - Dawn Redwood or the Chinese Metasequoia is living fossil among the conifers. It differs from the California Redwood - it is a deciduous tree. It was known form paleobotanical finds from the various parts of the world. It was rediscovered in theChinese valley Shuy - sa and its seeds were also distributed to Europe. This tree is approximately 35 m tall, resembling the Bald Cypress (Swamp Cypress); it grows quickly and its foliage has beautifully orange colour before falling off. It thrives instanding water, and is now widely planted as an ornamental tree. This botanical oddity can be found at the Váh Riverbank, next to the Slovan Hotel area, and in the Secondary Horticulture School area.

Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) - a deciduous tree native to Eastern North America. It has light and airy crown. It can reach a height of 45 m with fast growth, and is relatively short - lived. Honey Locusts commonly have thorns 10 – 20 cm long growing out of the branches; these may be single, or branched into several points, and usually form dense clusters. The thorns are fairly soft and green when young, harden and turn red as they age, then fade to ash grey and turn brittle when mature. These thorns are thought to have evolved to protect the trees from browsing Pleistocene mega fauna. Equally noticeable are the violet - reddish flat legume long 30 - 40 cm with flattened seeds. This tree is grown in Europe since 1700 in large parks and alleys. Its colourful and dwarfed cultivars are planted out in the streets. Several Honey Locusts grow in the Town Parkand behind the Thermia Palace Hotel at the edge of the River Váh by - pass.

Author of photos: Ľubomír Škorňák

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