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About the project

Tree walk - The Ixelles Ponds

This walk invites you to head out and get to know the remarkable trees around the Ixelles Ponds, discovering their stories along the way, as well as their secrets and the benefits they bring to the city.

The municipality of Ixelles has more than 400 remarkable trees. These living monuments form part of the capital’s heritage, add beauty to our surroundings, and make our city healthier.

These green giants blend into the urban landscape. We walk past them without noticing them, but they’re essential to our environment and overall wellbeing.

We invite you to discover them!

Navigation tip

Each point on the left corresponds to a marker on the map. Click on any of these points to help navigate more easily.

You’ll discover an interesting tree at each stop on the tree walk.

Clicking on the green button will take you a page with more information about the tree, including facts and stories, interesting things that you might not know, the benefits the tree brings to the area, tips for recognising the tree, and also reasons for it being considered a remarkable tree.

If you don’t have enough time for a long and leisurely exploration, feel free to just read the sections that pique your interest and arose your curiosity!

This could mean that you’ll experience different things each time you do the walk and read different sections. Have a good time exploring...

Start of the tree tour>>>

This walk starts outside La Cambre Abbey, just south of the Ixelles Ponds.

From the junction of Rue du Monastère and Allée du Cloître, look towards the abbey’s gardens and you’ll see a strange little tree across the street in front of you, just behind a bench.

The tree’s shape is a little like a mushroom. This is the first tree that we invite you to discover: a weeping maidenhair tree.

Maidenhair tree
Maidenhair tree (Ginkgo biloba)
La Cambre Abbey - Ixelles

Transit >>> 80m - 1 min on foot or by bike

Head towards the middle of the abbey’s gardens. With the maidenhair tree behind you, you’ll see three large trees ahead of you behind a wooden fence. In the centre of this enclosure, you’ll see a huge tree with a strange support crutch. This is a southern catalpa.

Indian bean tree
Southern Catalpa (Caltalpa bignonioides)
Abbaye de la Cambre's Gardens - Ixelles

Transit >>> ~150m - 2 mins on foot; 1 min by bike

With the catalpa on your right, set off along the path leading to the ponds. You’ll pass another path on your left. Continue walking straight ahead and leave the abbey’s gardens.

Cross Rue du Levant (the section that joins Avenue du Général de Gaulle and Avenue des Klauwaerts).

Walk toward the large section of grass lined with trees around the edge. When you get to the metal fence, turn left.

Walk alongside the fence for a short distance, until you reach the sign asking people not to feed the pigeons. From here, look to the opposite side of the lawn at the giant tree that dominates the immediate area there. This is a silver lime tree.

Silver lime (UK), Silver linden (US)
Silver lime (UK), Silver linden (US) (Tilia tomentosa)
- Ixelles

Transit >>> 0m - 0 min on foot or by bike

Next, if you look towards the pond on your left, you’ll be able to see a tree lying at the bottom of the slope. This is a very special weeping willow.

You’re not actually allowed to go over the fence and get closer to this tree, but the image gallery on this tree’s page on the map is very comprehensive and should help you see all the details as if you were seeing them in real life

Golden weeping willow
Golden weeping willow (Salix x sepulcralis)
Avenue des Klauwaerts, 24 - Ixelles

Transit >>> ~250m - 3 mins on foot - 1 min by bike

Continue walking next to the fence alongside the pond. (The fence should be on your right.)

You’ll now be walking along Avenue du Général de Gaulle. By checking the building numbers across the street, walk until you reach No. 49. At this point, you’ll see a large grey tree trunk between two hedges. The trunk looks like a huge elephant’s foot.

This is a beech tree.

European beech
European beech, common beech (Fagus sylvatica)
- Ixelles

Transit >>> 55m - 1 min on foot or by bike

Continue along the path next to the fence. You’ll pass by a sign that reads ‘Etangs d’Ixelles’ (Ixelles Ponds). Then, in front of you there will be a large tree with multiple trunks. Just after this tree, there is a large London plane tree waiting for you – opposite No. 45 if you check the buildings on the other side of the road.

London plane
London plane (Platanus x hispanica)
- Ixelles

Transit >>> 100m - 1 min on foot or by bike

Continue along the path next to the fence. Follow it as it bends to the right. You’ll then come across a huge tree trunk right in front of you – the biggest on the whole bank. Overlooking the pond, this is a Lombardy poplar.

Lombardy poplar (Populus nigra 'italica')
- Ixelles

Transit >>> ~265m - 4 mins on foot - 1 min by bike

Continue along the path until you reach Square du Souvenir. Use the pedestrian crossings to reach the second pond, heading to its eastern side. There is a copper beech tree right in front of you, at the corner of Square du Souvenir and Avenue des Eperons d’Or. If it has leaves at the time of year that you are visiting, it’s worth taking a moment to have a closer look.

Head to your left, with the second pond and the fence around its bank on your right.

You’ll pass by a set of rockeries with columns on top. Follow the fence around the pond to the right, and you’ll be back on Avenue du Général de Gaulle.

You can use the building numbers across the street as guidance. The next tree on this walk is opposite No. 34: a silver maple.

Silver maple (Acer Saccharinum)
- Ixelles

Transit >>> ~230m - 3 mins on foot - 1 min by bike

Continue on your path alongside the pond. Once you reach the point of No. 20 on Avenue du Général de Gaulle, you’ll be standing next to one of the largest black poplar trees in Brussels.

It stands across from the Église Sainte-Croix, which can be seen on the opposite bank of the pond. This tree has witnessed the history and growth of the Flagey neighbourhood.

Black Poplar
Black Poplar (Populus nigra)
- Ixelles

Transit >>> ~100m - 1 mins on foot - 1 min by bike

The last stop on this tree walk is waiting for you a little further along the path, just before it bends towards the Flagey Building. This tree is large and has branches that hang down almost into the water of the pond: our last tree is a narrow-leaved ash.

Narrow-leaved ash
Narrow-leaved ash (Fraxinus angustifolia)
Ixelles Ponds - Ixelles

This brings us to the end of this tree walk.

Which was your favourite tree? Which trees filled you with wonder? Which benefits and facts were you most surprised by?

If you enjoyed this walk, we invite you to take a guided tour of the area.

This will give you the chance to learn more secrets about urban nature, as well as tips and tricks for recognising trees with just a glance. We look forward to sharing more of our passion for trees with you.

The guided tours will be announced on the municipality’s official website. Info and Bookings

This project was created and produced by the Wood Wide Web

  • Concept, texts and photos – Priscille Cazin from Sylvolutions
  • Graphics – Sophie Boiron and Pierre Huyghebaert from Speculoos and Atelier Cartographique

Thank you to:

  • Florian Genot, Tourism Project Manager, for his active collaboration in realising this project;
  • Christoph Laurent, Head of Green Spaces and Planting, for providing information in the field;
  • Bruno Campanella, from the Inventory of Natural Heritage for the Brussels-Capital Region, for his scientific insights.

An initiative of Christos Doulkeridis, Mayor of Ixelles, of Audrey Lhoest, portfolio holder for Environment, Green Spaces and Planting, and Tourism, and of the Ixelles Communal executive.

End of the Tree Walk

Did you enjoy this tree walk? There are 2 other online tree walks in Ixelles and some more to discover in the Region

dev & design : atelier cartographique