Here we are again with the monthly meeting for tree followers. If you are new to tree following, read all about it here.
The link box for contributors is now closed, but at the bottom of this post you will find links from all the wonderful people who took part this month.
In Cardiff it is definitely spring, with lots of new growth, but I wonder what the weather is like where you are – do some of you still have snow?
Here I know spring has arrived as I heard the chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita) in the garden for the first time on Sunday, April 3. According to maps, we are in an area where some chiffchaffs are resident all year round, but I still prefer to think that the chiffchaff I hear in spring has travelled a long way from overwintering in Spain or North Africa.
Although that is the only good picture I have ever snapped of a chiffchaff, I did spot this year’s bird flitting against some moss on a wall, pecking for insects. Usually I just hear the bird and its distinctive call, from which we get its common name.
Recently I wrote about five “easy” trees to identify in winter and I am pleased to say that as they start to break into leaf my identification is proving to be accurate. Phew!
It is interesting to see that the different species of tree come into leaf or flower at different times. If there were a race, this year the horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) would be winning. But in second place comes the sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus).
Although not all trees of the same species are sprouting at once, I have seen a few oak (Quercus robur) leaves. But no ash (Fraxinus excelsior) yet, so I guess it’s going to be a dry summer? “Oak before ash we’re in for a splash” – I wonder if that’s because we had a wet winter. It always seems to average out over the year.
There are also signs of green leaves in the small hedgerow trees such as hawthorn and hazel, along with the catkins of hazel, birch and alder.
Grand magnolias, which flower early before they leaf, are losing their blooms now, but in their place will soon be the cherry trees. Some white varieties are already in flower, but the pink blossom seems a bit slow this time.
On the ground around the trees there are other spring flowers…
I wonder what grows around your special tree?
The April tree-following link box is now closed, but follow these links to this month’s contributors…
Thank you to everyone – see you all again on May 7!