An alluring look at trees in winter 

NOTE: This report from early in 2018 appears here out of chronological order because it was moved to this blog in December 2018 from a different page.

 

19 FEBRUARY 2018 — A small group of enthusiasts, aged from 7-ish to 70-ish, turned up at the Welsh Harp on Sunday 18th February 2018 for a free guided walk exploring the wide variety of trees around the site. The walk was led by Edwin Malins of the London Wildlife Trust.

DSCN8092
A Welsh Harp lime tree with a mass of stem and root sprouts

As the group walked around the site, Edwin demonstrated ways of identifying deciduous trees when they are leafless in winter. Often this can be done by inspecting the size, shape, colour and position of the buds that are beginning to form. Studying features of the bark can also help in identification, as can examination of the catkins dangling from species such as hazel and alder.

2018.02.18 Kestrel
Kestrel, “Shrike Field”, 19 Feb 2018 (© Andrew Haynes 2018)

Edwin also drew attention to two lime trees that are each surrounded by a proliferation of fine stem sprouts (epicormic growth), which grow up from around the base of the trunk or from shallow lateral roots. (You can look out for these two specimens close to the main footpath along the reservoir’s north bank.)  For no obvious reason, other limes seen during the walk had the bare trunks of a “normal” tree.

Walking back towards our start point, the group had superb views of a Kestrel perched in a tree on the edge of the “Shrike Field”.


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