Robinia pseudacacia was heralded by William Cobbett as the new, quicker growing oak, yet actually the Rev William Gilpin already knew it to be a brittle wood, and ‘besides, tho a shattered tree may grace a forest; yet, in an adorned scene, it disgusts.’

When it is grown as a tree (and generally it was coppiced and grown as a shrub) it has the jagged silhouette of a tree in a horror film. Capability Brown undoubtedly used it, and seems to have done so – as did many of his time – as a shrub in the pleasure ground, rather than as a parkland tree. It is a suckering tree, and where it survives in the parkland, as it does at Scampston, it would be fair to suppose that it has suckered from a planting in Bridgeman’s shrubbery there.