Talking to Trees

by David Feather

“I talk to the trees, but they don’t listen to me.” This was part of a lyric to a song some of our older nature reserve walkers will remember. Well, there is a possibility that the lyric writer might have been mistaken.

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Pussy willow

A goat willow’s flowers, or catkins, known as pussy willow because they look like furry grey kittens’ paws, appear in February, one of the earliest signs of spring in the park.

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Leaf-fall

It had been assumed that a warming climate would lead to a longer growing season for our deciduous trees, followed by a later autumnal leaf-fall. However, research has indicated that this might not be so.

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Spindle berries

This year the park’s spindle trees have produced a bumper crop of poisonous, bright pink berries.

Acorns

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.

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Oak number 5526

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:

Tree damage

Email from friendsofscp@outlook.com to Rich Murphy, Tree and Woodland Officer.

Hello Rich,
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.
FoSCP

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