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Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

Tree following link box for February 2016

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Spring is in the air – already…

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It’s that time again – for tree followers to get together for a monthly exchange of news. If you are new to tree following, you can find out all about it here.

In the northern hemisphere this is a great time to start a year of tree following, as “Now is the Sun come up from the south, With Oak, and Ash, and Thorn” – that’s from Kipling’s A Tree Song, by the way.

Here in Cardiff the hours of daylight are lengthening and a sunny sky makes all the difference after months of rain. There are even early signs of spring – the white flower pictured above is perhaps a member of the cherry (Prunus) family? I have also seen magnolias coming into bloom.

It may still be deep winter where you live – or mid summer if you are in the southern hemisphere. Whatever the conditions, I wonder what your tree is doing? Please click on the widget below and share your link with us. Remember the link box closes at 7am on February 14.

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News from the world of trees

This is a bit of a change from my usual blog posts, but I have noticed a lot of news stories about trees lately, so I thought I would share some of them with you. These include a few environmental tragedies, but also some happier articles. Click on each of the pictures if you would like to read the full stories.

Bush fires devastate ancient landscape

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The Guardian reports that catastrophic bush fires, caused by lightning, have destroyed a huge area of ancient woodland in Tasmania. The world heritage site was home to a range of unique alpine flora including pencil pines, king billy pines and cushion plants, some more than 1,000 years old…

Vote for the European Tree of the Year

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You can vote for the European Tree of the Year 2016 until the end of the month. At the moment the Eastern European trees are way ahead – a bit like the Eurovision Song Contest! The candidate pictured above is a pine growing through the middle of an oak in Spain…

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Feral pigeons in a tree in Thompson’s Park, Cardiff – sorry the middle one looks like it’s headless!

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I think I have found my tree to follow for 2016. Or, as happened in previous years, it has found me. In the last few weeks I have visited Thompson’s Park, not far from my home in Cardiff, several times.

There are many trees in the park – a variety of conifers and some big, bare old trees I managed to identify, even without name labels. (more…)

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Jelly-like fungi on a rotting tree stump in Thompson’s Park, Cardiff

This year I will probably follow a tree in a small Cardiff park I hardly know – Thompson’s Park. But my latest search for a tree worthy of regular bulletins was overtaken by my wonder at all the fungi I saw on a damp afternoon walk there.

Thompson’s Park is one of Cardiff’s oldest, having opened to the public in 1891. I will no doubt share some general views in another post, but this time I am just excited by the fungi growing on the very old and decaying trees. Three of the species I saw were on one tall stump. (more…)

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Ginkgo Avenue in winter

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Ginkgo Avenue, Bute Park, Cardiff

I was toying with the idea of following a Ginkgo biloba or maidenhair tree this year, but I have been unable to find a single one close at hand that I can visit every month. What I have found is a whole avenue of Ginkgo trees in Cardiff’s Bute Park. So rather than single out just one to follow every month I am going to visit the avenue less often, to see how it changes in the four seasons. (more…)

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Seed balls of the London plane tree (Platanus x acerifolia) are still decorative in January

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Welcome to my third monthly tree-following link box after taking over the project from Loose and Leafy. The box is now closed but you’ll find everyone’s links at the bottom of the post. Go there now if you don’t want to listen to me wittering on!

Although some tree followers choose a tree in one spring and pursue it through to the next, personally I like to follow for a calendar year so I start looking in January. But whenever you start, how do you select your tree? (more…)

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Seed capsules of Paulownia tomentosa on January 5, 2016

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As the year turns and the sun starts to head back from the south I count myself blessed that I followed such a wonderful tree in 2015. My empress tree (Paulownia tomentosa) has had something new to show every month and even now she is not exactly the same as she was when I first met her in Cardiff’s Bute Park, this time last year. (more…)

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