Change and decay in Bute Park
March 17, 2015 by squirrelbasket
London plane trees (Platanus x hispanica) in Bute Park, Cardiff
Spring is on its way, but in Bute Park, Cardiff, there are signs of death and decay as well as signs of new life and growth.
Some kind of birch?
Looking up at the same mystery tree
The damp Welsh climate does the bark no favours…
…but the lichen enjoys the clean air
It was lovely to see a couple of police horses on patrol – magnificent animals – here to add security for the Conservative Party Welsh Spring Conference in the nearby Swalec Stadium
I’ve passed this stump before but the quality of the light must have been different, as I walked on by…
…looking closer at the stump…
…wooo! What magnificent fungi…
These are some of the bracket fungi from above
The bark is totally lost from the base of the stump
Which brings me to what remains of the Alaskan Kenai birch felled in gales, which I previously wrote about here. The arboretum people have tidied it up.
The smaller branches have been trimmed from the Kenai birch…
…leaving just a knuckle
The name plate has been removed – but by a souvenir hunter or by the arboretum staff for their records?
The still-fresh stump of the Kenai birch – but now they have cut through the trunk and the base has fallen back to earth
I wonder if they intend to leave the fallen tree to encourage wildlife?
Another sad sight nearby. I’m pretty sure these are woodpigeon feathers as I came across a similar “crime” in my own garden a while back – see the post here.
Woodpigeon feathers tell a sorry tale
But it’s not all death and decay. These trees seem to be doing pretty well…
I should know what this is, shouldn’t I? My first thought was a lime/linden, but I’m probably completely wrong
Looking up at the mystery tree
Do you recognise these reddish buds?
There are several small trees with what I can only call an oriental shape…
This has rather an attractive form…
…it’s a Celtis sinensis or Chinese nettle tree, also known as Chinese hackberry
A different angle
This small tree near the park cafe has a similar shape…
The lower boughs
Is it a magnolia, perhaps?
Then there are the always-reliable conifers and evergreens…
Is this a pine of some sort?
Beautiful resinous bark
This is an interesting holly tree…
The holly even warrants a name plaque – it’s a Highclere holly, Ilex x altaclarensis
The native holly is Ilex aquifolium and around 1835 it was crossed with the Madeira holly, Ilex perado, to create more vigorous garden hollies with larger leaves, fruit and greater vigour. The result is the Highclere holly, named after Highclere Castle in Hampshire, where it was bred.
As well as holly, we have ivy…
…and I have already mentioned the Fatsia japonica bushes in my latest post about the empress tree
Finally a general view of Bute Park, showing the Gorsedd Stones – and I don’t think that’s a sacrificial altar in the middle! Apparently it’s a megalithic stone found in the park, although the circle around it is modern, raised in 1978, to mark that year’s National Eisteddfod of Wales in Cardiff