Archive for November, 2008

Glen Lochay is a fabulous glen full of super alders and other ancient trees.


Jill shows a quick view of this great place which Peter Quelch told her and Ted about and where the old trees go on for miles up the glen. It’s just north of Killin and well worth a visit.



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A cuckoo tree orchard – a delightful site in South West Scotland.

Peter Norman, Dumfries and Galloway’s Biodiversity Officer shows us some trees from one of Dumfries’s most fascinating sites – Glen Maddie. Full of little old alders with all sorts of cuckoo trees!



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Evidence that mature elms survive all over the UK

While out tree recording around Heartwood Forest – the new Woodland Trust site near to St Albans, Ted and Jill came across this lovely mature elm. Great to see a tree that has survived Dutch Elm Disease.

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Some of Scotland’s cuckoo trees

The upland wood pastures are full of little old trees that are gradually hollowing. Jill points out one example found on the recent tour to Scotland. It shows you how significant this decayed material is when trees develop their own aerial roots to feed into it straight away but also other trees get there first as with this alder/rowan air tree in the wonderful treescapes of Glen Lochay.




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Organic Sherwood oakling with its mycorrhizal fungus

Ted spotted a little fungus fruit body in the pot with the oak sapling grown from an acorn from an ancient oak that lives one of our most important oak forests in the world – Sherwood Forest. Why is this so important – play the video and find out what Ted thinks.


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The Hollins – new insights into pollarding through old holly pollards

Ted had a brainwave when he visited the Hollins recently and looked at the old holly pollards. He noticed that the trees had been cut near the edge of the crown – a bit like tip-pruning. He knew that these trees grow very slowly. He realised that if they were cut in a more ‘traditional’ fashion, back to a bolling near the trunk, large limbs would be cut. These branches would take far too long to grow again to provide the frequent fodder required in winter for feeding the stock in such a cold and exposed site. When fodder was no longer the main crop from these trees, the cutting was continued to provide holly decoration and wreath making in a local factory. This continued the practice of tip-pollarding.

Tip-pruned holly twigs

Tip-pruned holly twigs


This is a fabulous and rare site. Where else in Europe can you see a holly ‘orchard’ of pollards? Lots of names on maps indicate that these ‘hollins’ places were once common but the only other place in the UK with remnant holly ‘pollards’ is the New Forest. These trees are very precious for the secrets that they might yet reveal. Well done Shropshire Wildlife Trust for saving and caring for this site.

Fabulous views from the top of the Stiperstones

Fabulous views from the top of the Stiperstones

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Farmers link arms with ancient tree enthusiasts

In a FWAG Cymru event at CHirk Castle, Ted encouraged farmers to see trees as vital friends of the future as the key soil and therefore pasture improvers. Trees also help improve field temperatures to give earlier growth in spring and mycorrhizal fungi help plants to gather phosphorus.

Thanks to FWAG advisor Richard Roberts for these great pics. Dont miss the video of the day on the Rob McBride, Tree Hunter u-tube site

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