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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…

(more…)

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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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Zinnia elegans in the gardens of Tredegar House in late September, 2015

You know how it is – you go to so many places in September that you suddenly find it’s January and there are autumn visits you haven’t had time to blog about yet. So I apologise that this post isn’t topical – although it is at least colourful during these dark, wet days of midwinter.

Tredegar House in Newport, south-east Wales, was taken over by the National Trust in March, 2012. Most of the red-brick house dates from the late 17th century but I will write a separate post about the house itself. This time I want to feature the plants in bloom in the gardens in September. (more…)

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Face to face with William Smith – a bust of the man by Joseph Brogden Baker of Scarborough and a portrait painted in 1837 by Hughes Forau

Have you heard of William “Strata” Smith? Well I hadn’t until 2001, when I read a review in a weekend magazine and bought Simon Winchester’s book about him, called The Map that Changed the World. He has been one of my heroes ever since. (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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