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About the project

Remnants of the Ixelles countryside - -Boondael

Tree walk - Boondael

This walk invites you to head out and get to know some of the neighbourhood’s oldest remarkable trees, which have existed here since the time that Ixelles was still countryside. Find out everything about these trees, including interesting facts, stories, the roles they play in today’s neighbourhood, and more!

Evoking memories from the neighbourhood’s past, this walk will take you to the cemetery, down various tree-lined streets, into parks, to private gardens, and also through a wooded area.

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.

Common horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum)
- Ixelles

Transit >>> ~ 160m - 2mins on foot - 0 min by bike (walk besides your bike)

Walk to the end of the entrance drive, if you haven’t already. At the roundabout, take the second path on your left (Allée 2). Head towards the big tree up ahead: located at the corner of Allée 2 and Allée 13 and next to three graves just off ash scattering lawn (Pelouse 1A). This is an Italian alder.

Italian alder
Italian alder (Alnus cordata)
- Ixelles

Transit >>> ~400 m - 5 mins on foot - 2 mins by bike

Head back to the main entrance of the cemetery and head out onto the main road.

Turn left down Chaussée de Boondael. Where this road curves, you’ll see a large tree planted much closer to the road. It is located a little after the paved path switches to gravel, and just after you pass two trees on your right: this next tree is a silver lime.

(The tree is directly opposite the junction with Rue des Egyptiens.)

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

Transit >>> ~ 750 m - 9 mins on foot - 3 mins by bike

Continue walking down Chaussée de Boondael. When you reach No. 482 on the street, cross the road.

The triangular square here is home to a beautiful tree with branches that dangle down almost to the ground. You guessed it: this is a weeping willow.

Continue down Chaussée de Boondael (which is the road on the right) and take the third turning on the right (Avenue Guillaume Gilbert). Walk along the street on the side with the odd-numbered buildings.

At the roundabout, continue straight. When you reach No. 75, look to the opposite side of the road. You’ll be looking at a field elm that is one of the champion specimens of the region.

Continue along the same road, on the same side (odd-numbered buildings) and you’ll reach a second roundabout. Cross to the other side, but take a moment to admire Avenue Arnaud Huysmans on your right. This road is lined with lime trees which release their scent around the whole neighbourhood in June and July.

Walk further down Avenue Guillaume Gilbert until you reach No. 123. On the opposite side of the road, there is a tree growing in front of a tall building (at No. 120): a field maple.

Field maple
Field maple (Acer campestre)
- Ixelles

Transit >>> ~ 550 m - 7 mins on foot - 2 mins by bike

Continue on the same path, passing the four-storey building, and you’ll quickly arrive at Square Solbosch (on your right). Take the first left into Avenue du Pesage (there is a brasserie on the corner).

Once you reach No. 46 on Avenue du Pesage, you’ll be able to see a pyramid-shaped tree far ahead in the distance (between the two traffic lights). This is an Italian alder, and it’s waiting for you in Place Marie-José just by the shelter at the old tram stop.

Italian alder
Italian alder (Alnus cordata)
- Ixelles

Transit >>> ~ 550 m - 7 mins on foot - 2 mins by bike

Walk underneath the alder and take the sandy path that diagonally crosses the square.

Turn left into Avenue du Bois de la Cambre. As you walk down this road, you’ll see the bell tower of the Chapelle de Boondael in the distance, with a backdrop of a huge tree’s crown. This tree is referred to as ‘the old lime tree’, and it is a star specimen of the municipality and the region. Be careful not to trample its roots when you approach it.

If you’re interested, this tree has a longer portrait text written about it, which explains its entire history in detail.

"The Phoenix"
Large-leaved lime (Tilia platyphyllos)
Chapelle de Boendael - Ixelles

Transit (continued) >>>

Continue walking in the same direction as you were. Behind the Chapelle de Boondael, you’ll pass the Tennis Club du Bois de la Cambre and the Auberge de Boondael.

Cross Chaussée de Boitsfort and then head right along this street (make sure you’re on the path for pedestrians and not the cycle path). At No. 26-28-30-32-34, there is a large sweet chestnut tree standing at the entrance of a private close and its gardens.

As the close is private, you can admire the tree from here on the street. The page for this tree will transport you in your mind though, making it feel as if you were stood at the foot of the tree.

Sweet chestnut, Spanish chestnut
Sweet chestnut, Spanish chestnut (Castanea sativa)
- Ixelles

Transit >>> ~ 290m - 4 mins on foot - 1 min by bike

Continue walking down Chaussée de Boitsfort on the left-hand side, and cross the turning for Rue des Merisiers when you reach it.

Cross Chaussée de Boitsfort at the crossing opposite No. 40, and then turn into Cours Gordon Bennett. Head left onto the opposite path.

Walk alongside the lawn and take the sandy path heading to the right, which will lead you to the centre of this square. Here, there are three trees soaring up into the sky. These three massive trees are giant sequoias.

The Giant Sequoia Trio
Giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum)
- Ixelles

Transit >>> ~ 110m - 1 min on foot - 0 min by bike (walk beside your bike)

Pass underneath the sequoias and take the path leading right, towards Bois des Commères.

When you enter these woods, take a right and follow the fence on your left-hand side. A little further along, you’ll reach a double entrance to a dog park.

In the middle of this area, right in front of you as you walk in, there is a giant copper beech.

Copper beech, Purple European Beech
Copper beech, Purple European Beech (Fagus sylvatica f. purpurea)
- Ixelles

Transit >>> ~ 100m - 1 min on foot - 0 min by bike (walk besides your bike)

Exit the park using the same route that you entered through. Turn right and walk along the fence you followed earlier. You’ll pass the path (on your left) leading to Cours Gordon Bennett.

Straight ahead of you though, at the end of the path you’re on, there is a tree rising up high into the sky. This is an English oak.

(Hint: it is located on your right, just in front of the way out of the wood next to Verger Urbain d’Italie orchard.)

English/Pedunculate oak
English/Pedunculate oak (Quercus robur)
- Ixelles

Transit >>> ~ 350 m - 4 mins on foot - 1 min by bike

Pass underneath the oak tree and leave the wood on the side of the Verger Urbain d’Italie orchard. Follow the path as it zigzags through the orchard.

Outside the Toscane hotel, cross Avenue d’Italie and take Rue Simonau that is just in front of you. You’ll quickly see a tree with white bark on your left. This is a birch. Continue past this tree, and leave the street when it bends round to the right. Take the path that continues straight in the direction you were heading.

Pass by the wood that is on your left. Eventually the path will bring you to Avenue du Derby. Turn right into this avenue and walk to No. 12. Here, slightly set back from the street, there is an extraordinary oriental plane!

The Gaia Tree
Oriental plane tree (Platanus orientalis)
- 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 produced by the Wood Wide Web

  • Concept, creation, texts and photos by 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