Archive for February, 2010

Thank you Ministry of Defence!

Sadly there’s no atmospheric video but Ted and Jill have a wonderful snowy picture to share with you. They were visiting Yardley Chase – and the word Chase says it all for all historic landscape affictionados. Close to Salsey Forest in Northamptonshire here is a fantastic collection of trees in the care of the Defence Training Estate. Ted and Jill met with them to talk about recording trees like this on the Ancient Tree Hunt and to find ways to secure a future for them on this site and others. Our intrepid adventurer’s go hugging in all weathers!

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And another siderophagous tree

Jane sends in another  example of a metal eating tree. Its in Bournemouth Central Gardens. She says “A long-standing member of the Bournemouth Council Parks Department reckons the fence that the London Plane is devouring dates from around 1900.  He has worked with the council since 1964 and says it has been within the tree ever since he remembers. Another member of ‘Parks’ who works in the gardens at present thinks the rest of the fence was removed in 1991, there is still the same style of fencing around ‘Paradise’ a lovely area, as the name suggests, which is in another part of Bournemouth Gardens. I have not been able to find out the approximate age of the tree itself, but obviously more than 110 years!”

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Another ironivorous tree

Jill has her first response to her request for other’s experiences of iron eating trees. Here is a good example sent in by Adam Roberts from Leckford Arboretum.  Any other examples out there?  The quirkier the better…..

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Starting new pollards the basque way

Ted watches Samuel – one of his basque arborist friends cutting a young ash tree to start a new pollard. And the cut material will be hung up to dry to become fodder for the animals later in the winter. This tree is in a young plantation and Ted’s idea is that the trees in these dense plantations should be cut as pollards for wood fuel or for fodder. This opens up the canopy and allows grazing underneath – two tier agriculture or agro-forestry.

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How did this tree stand up to the 1987 gale?

Jill looks at the vast crown and size of this ancient hollow tree that stands on about half a dozen ‘legs’. How did it withstand the 1987 gale and subsequent high winds? Its breathtaking.

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Kneel down and look up to royalty

If ever there is royalty – this is it. This tree is one of the oldest in the world and associated with it is the Royal oak polypore – I’ve added the Royal to its name because its always associated with ancient oak in royal Forest landscapes. Its one of the very few protected species on the Wildlife and Countryside Act schedules but that only prevents one from picking the fungus and selling it. In this case the tree cannot be protected as it would be exempt from the TPO legislation. Strange isnt it when the fungus is protected but its habitat cant be. And the tree plus the fungus is so, so special……

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