Oak trees produce thousands of acorns every year. Somebody has worked out that an oak tree can produce ten million acorns over its lifetime. In a good year, they carpet the ground under the tree.Read on:
Message from Ian Bushell.
Sad to report that Oak number 5526, dubbed Stoat Oak, in the hedge line between Corn and Sleeper Fields has suffered a two limb loss – the large upper branch taking out the lower one on its descent. The fallen branch is safe and not impinging on the hard path.
No idea why; admitted it is in full leaf and thus heavy but there has been no wind or rain in the last couple of days. This tree lost a limb about the same place about 10 years ago. Don’t think there have been any other losses in the park this summer.
More from Ian about the park’s oak trees:
Email from firstname.lastname@example.org to Rich Murphy, Tree and Woodland Officer.
Is it vandals or deer that have damaged this tree so badly? We suspect deer but it would be unusual at this time of year when there is so much new grass around. We defer to your expertise.
These are the flowers of an oak tree. Oaks are monoecious; they have male flowers and female flowers on the same tree.Continue reading “Oak flowers”
“Shed not a clout till may be out…”
It’s not an instruction to keep your coat on until June; it’s telling you that you can take your cardigan off once the may is in blossom, which has been known to happen as early as April.Continue reading
Field maple flowers
Field or hedge maple (Acer campestre) photographed yesterday at the top of Simpson’s Field.
By Ian Bushell
Southwick Country Park has a number of veteran oaks and ten ancient oaks. There are no hard and fast rules about when and why an oak tree becomes classified as veteran or ancient; in different environments and soils oaks grow at different rates and girth is only an indicator. Here the underlying Oxford clay provides an excellent medium and the trees are large and shapely.Continue reading “The Park’s Veteran Oaks”
Where are our disease resistant elm saplings?Continue reading
A walk in the Park
by Ian Bushell
I took my permitted exercise at the park over lunchtime. There were just eight cars when I arrived at noon and only fifteen when I left an hour later. People were well spaced all around the park; everybody seems to be taking the new regulations seriously.Continue reading
Mail from Ian Bushell:Continue reading “A Stroll in the Park”
The Woodland Trust has given us 420 sapling trees: rowan, dogwood, silver birch, hawthorn, hazel and wild cherry.Continue reading “Trees”
Somebody has stripped bark from the whole length of the trunk of tree number 5477. Why would anybody do that?Continue reading “What happened here?”
Despite being battered by the weekend’s storm, the blackthorn is just beginning to flower; you’ll find it at the top of the hill as you leave Simpson’s Field.
As always, the first flowers of the year are the hazel catkins: a familiar and friendly sign that spring is on its way.Continue reading
Good news about ash dieback
In the park, we have lost many of our ash saplings to ash dieback and the disease is spreading rapidly.Continue reading
by Ian Bushell
The fruit of the spindle tree (Euonymus europaea)Continue reading
Today is the autumnal equinox
Equinox means equal night, and today, the 23rd of September, there will be equal amounts of darkness and daylight all over the World.Continue reading
Hawthorn is an important winter food source for birds; they’re the favourite berry of blackbirds, redwings and fieldfares and are enjoyed by many other of the park’s species, including chaffinches, starlings and greenfinches.
Haws are edible though they are said to taste like overripe apples. Traditionally they were used to make jellies, wines and ketchup. They are such a prolific crop, so pretty and nearly always within reach; sometimes it seems a shame that we don’t make better use of them.
Let’s leave them to the birds: an autumnal bonanza.
Another autumnal bonanza:
An artichoke gall on an oak tree photographed by DKG last week. The artichoke gall wasp (Andricus foecundatrix) lays its eggs in the leaf buds of an oak tree; the egg and the growing larva produce chemicals that force the tree’s extraordinary outgrowth.
Ash dieback is a disease that is especially deadly to Britain’s native ash trees, Fraxinus excelsior.Continue reading “Ash dieback”