It is a wingnut, Pterocarya. They come from China and are hardy enough in the UK, though infrequent.
It is probably P. fraxinifolia (I'd call that the most common one in the UK)
But it could be Pp. stenoptera or x rehderana.
To tell the difference, you need to look at the rachis (the spine down the middle of the fruit tassle):
- smooth, round -> P. fraxinifolia
- broadly winged -> P. stenoptera
- narrow flanges pressed together along the top (or reduced to a groove) -> P. rehderana
Please let us know if you can make that determination.
Thanks for your help - a friend had posted it on Facebook asking for an identification - she will hopefully take a closer look so that she can determine what type of pterocarya it is. Stange how this plant turns up in a car park in Frome. I will go and look at it.
This is a brilliant resource - I've only just found it. So hope to find the answers to lots more queries in the future! Excellent help - thank you.
Thank you Karen for posting for me and Mike for identification.
I had another look today and can confirm it looks like fraxinifolia to us. There are quite a few younger saplings alongside it too - hemmed in by carpark and on the river bank.
Thanks for introducing me to this resource. :-)
Fiona & Karen,
It is actually quite surprising the range of trees that councils plant. Yes, there are many common types, but quite a few unusual ones too. Take Bristol City Council, for instance. Here's a list of their tree plantings for 2012-13
Unusuals therein include: Davidia involucrata, Pterocarya stenoptera, Sorbus torminalis, Nyssa sylvatica, Brousinettia papyrifia (not sure that's a great choice, especially planted on its own), Liriodendron tulipifera, Taxodium distichum, Corylus collurna, Prunus schmitii, Nothofagus antarctica, Aesculus flava, Malus tchonoskii (their typo - should be M. tschonoskii), Paulownia tormentosa (rarely performs well in the UK, in my experience; but I've seen it doing better in Geneva), Quercus castaneafolia, Acer opalus, Tilia mongolica, Acer griseum (one of my favourite maples), Sorbus bristoliensis.
...Which is by way of me saying "Keep your eyes peeled - there are lots of interesting trees awaiting your discovery!"
For anybody who is into trees, this is a good resource
You can find out the locations of remarkable examples of many species, or find out what big trees there are in a particular county (or country).
It lists three Pterocarya fraxinifolia in the UK, for instance.