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The Horniman Gardens are home to a fine collection of trees. Some of the trees existed before the museum, and originated as field boundary markers when Forest Hill was populated by farms.

Other trees on the site were originally found in the gardens of the Victorian houses that were pulled down in the 20th century and incorporated into the Gardens.

The highest point of the Horniman Gardens near the Horniman Drive Gates was originally the site of Frederick Hornimans house Surrey Mount. The site included a selection of trees including mature sycamores with other evergreen trees such as monkey puzzle, yew and cedar some of which still remain today.