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In the opening sequences of Downton Abbey series 1 and 2 there is a massive tree near the house. When it appears in the show characters are often shown sitting on a bench underneath it. What kind of tree is it?

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Never seen the show but does this tree provide some plot significance or is it just a piece of scenery? –  TylerShads Mar 1 '12 at 16:02
    
It's just scenery, but a couple of key conversations take place under it :) –  Katherine Rix Mar 5 '12 at 15:36

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

It is a Lebanon Cedar. From the wikipedia page about Highclere Castle - the location for the fictional Downton Abbey.

The famous 18th century seed collector Bishop Stephen Pococke was a friend and brought Lebanon Cedar seeds from a trip to Lebanon

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I knew it had to be a non-native tree. No English tree classification guides could identify it as a native tree. –  wbogacz Mar 2 '12 at 13:30
    
Yeah, quite a few British stately homes and castles have non-native plants and trees as the owners in the 19th and early 20th century liked collecting stuff like that - before the issue of 'invasive species' became more of an issue. –  iandotkelly Mar 2 '12 at 14:21
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Thanks. This tree blows my mind every time I see it. For me it is a symbol of the grandeur of the house and family. –  Katherine Rix Mar 5 '12 at 15:43

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