Seen at the Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Friday, 7 March 2014

Tree Following with Lucy

I've decided to join Lucy this month for her Tree Following project. This isn't a new-to-me-meme, but I confess I hadn't taken the time previously to think about a particular tree I'd like to get to know better.

However, that all changed on December 23rd 2013, when one of the neighbouring ash trees crashed into VP Gardens, narrowly missing our house. Since then, I've been taking a picture of the remaining parts of the tree on the 23rd of each month, to see how it changes over the year.

An Unexpected Visitor - 'the tree which came for Christmas'

Here's the tree in much happier times...



If the embedded video above doesn't work, try this link instead. The picture quality isn't that great, but I wanted to capture the tree's sound as well as an impression of it ahead of any potential demise due to ash dieback. How ironic!


Here's the tree as it looked on February 23rd from our bedroom window. This was after its trim back in January courtesy of a local tree surgeon. It didn't look that much different to this on January 23rd.

The birds are using the tree a lot lately as a launching pad for their onslaught on the garden in search of moss and other materials for their nests. The most regular occupant is this rather fat pigeon. I'm also looking at the field maple tree nearby to see if Mr and Mrs pigeon return to last year's nest.

Fancy joining Lucy this month? Here's her kick-off post for 2014 complete with links to everyone who's taking part. I'm not sure if I'll be joining in every month on the 7th, but I will be providing some updates during the year.

23 comments:

  1. This hasn't been a good year for trees has it?

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    1. No it hasn't Sue :( I heard on the news this morning it's been the worst time for our trees since the great storm of 1987...

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  2. I suppose some trees will always come down during storms, but it is sad whenever it happens. Fortunately it hasn’t happened in such numbers as in the bad storm in 1987, I think some 15 mill trees were lost then. It will be nice to see how this tree recover from the ordeal ;-)

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    1. I don't have the figures yet Helene, so I don't know how it compares with 1987. I also wonder how many trees which look OK now, will show signs of damage later this year. For instance, how many of them will fail to come into leaf over the next few weeks? It's going to be an interesting year for Tree Following :)

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  3. Some trees fell in the area where I live too but I suspect the full damage of the storms is yet to emerge. Some of the evergreens are beginning to look iffy. It may be salt blast from which they will recover but I wonder if their roots have been loosened. Glad you are joining us in following a tree.

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    1. Yes Lucy - I read that waterlogging can loosen a tree's roots, so if we get some more gales there may be more uprooting to come, even if the storms aren't that severe. And of course the prolonged waterlogging itself isn't going to so a tree much good.

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  4. Just last weekend, one of next doors big oaks split and now it has to come down, last year he lost one of his huge chestnuts, he's not going to have much woodland left at this rate. I think your ash will sprout again, they are good for coppicing or pollarding for firewood, we have pollarded a couple of our ash for this very reason.

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    1. That's interesting Pauline, I didn't know ash could be pollarded. That add further interest to my tree following, to see what happens with that exposed branch, thank you :)

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  5. It's to see that you're tree following this year. Flighty xx

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  6. Thank goodness there was no damage when part of the tree crashed down. It will be interesting to see how the tree progresses. I'm joining Lucy with tree following as well.

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    1. Indeed Linda - I'm looking forward to seeing what happens withmy tree and your posts :-)

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  7. Oh I do hope that your ash survives such a trauma VP and as you say ironic in view of the potential danger our ashes are already facing. May well follow a tree too - sadly another victim of storm damage.

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    1. I have another ash tree under observstion too Anna - hoping last year's problems with the folisge were due to the dry weather...

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  8. Lucky it was just one limb and (hopefully) not the whole tree. I'm enjoying seeing the range of trees that have been chosen for Lucy's tree following. Now I just have to narrow my choices down to one and write about it!

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    1. It looked like there was some disease in that limb which led to its downfall

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  9. I shall watch Mr and Mrs Pigeon with interest ... I think their friends and countless relations live in my neck of the woods!

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    1. Caroline - welcome :-) We're getting lots of visits from bullfinches at the moment too, who also seem to love this particulsr tree

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  10. Goodness, that was a close call. Lets hope it isn't also gripped by ash die back, it has surely suffered enough already. The willows in the park next to us have been shedding branches in all the storms, I am hoping to persuade the park manager to get them pollarded - safer and also very attractive. I fear the final toll in tree damage is going to rival '87.

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    1. I'm not a huge fan of pollarding Janet as I love fully grown specimens. However as you say it's an appropriate technique for a number of situations and I'd rather have a pollarded tree than no tree.

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  11. It is a worrying time for tree lovers with terrible storms and ever new diseases threatening them. It is awful to think that the Ash could go the way of the Elm. I hope your Ash will recover and stay healthy.

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    1. Hi Chloris. - have you seen the studies which are looking to reintroduce disease resistant elms? It looks fascinating and I see something similsr is already under way with the ash. Hopefully this means we won't get such a huge loss to our landscape if the experiments yield some good resistant trees...

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  12. I have been profiling my ash trees for a couple of years since we were invaded by the EAB beetle. My birds love to hang out in mine too and hunt for food and nesting materials from their tall vantage point.

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