Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) on the Wharf beside County Hall in Cardiff Bay

It has been over a year now since I first walked around the Wharf (former Bute East Dock) next to my office at County Hall in Cardiff Bay.

I have visited more or less every month so I have no idea if I will spot anything I haven’t seen before. But I will keep on looking anyway. These pictures were taken at lunchtime on March 26… Continue Reading »


Maple flowers on a tree in Lloyd George Avenue, Cardiff, in mid March

My Cardiff Bay bus drives down Lloyd George Avenue every day so I have been keeping an eye on the trees I first visited in autumn last year (read the blog post here).

I recently noticed the first signs of spring colour on a couple of the trees at the Bay end of the avenue, not far from my office in County Hall. At first I thought the red twigs were breaking into leaf… Continue Reading »


The London plane tree (Platanus × hispanica or Platanus × acerifolia) I am following this year in Mermaid Quay, Cardiff Bay


Although it is early spring here in Cardiff I hadn’t noticed any development in my London plane tree since the winter. I see it a couple of times a week when I walk over to the shops for a lunchtime sandwich but only occasionally do I make the effort to take my camera and draw attention to myself in this busy street.

The tree may be quiet but there is a lot of infrastructure work going on around it – these iPhone pictures from this week show a drainage vehicle doing something or other (as I now work in the council highways department I should know what they were doing, but they just seemed to be cleaning down the paving of the street when I saw them). Continue Reading »


Catkins in Cardiff Bay in early March – I think it’s a birch as the old woody fruits I could see were not like the “cones” of alder


The tree-following link box has now closed for another month. To explore everyone’s updates, please go straight to the bottom of this post.

If you are new to tree following, read all about the idea here.

Spring is a very good time to start, so why not join us? Point us to any tree-related post you would like to share, using the link box published on the 7th of each month and lasting for a week.

Here in Cardiff it feels like early spring most of the time. We have had sunny days, windy days (Storm Freya and Storm Gareth) very wet days, cold days and, in the middle of the month, we had the warmest February day since records began in the UK.

There are catkins everywhere and blossom, although it soon blows away like confetti. The early cherry blossom has gone but the magnolias are coming into their own and the later cultivated double pink cherry blossom has not yet shown itself.


I don’t know what this is, seen near the County Hall bus stop – my first thought was cherry, or blackthorn (but I see no thorns)…


…these are the flowers after the petals have dropped – any ideas? I’m sure the number of stamens must be a clue

Here are the all-important links from this month’s tree followers…

Alison at the Blackberry Garden – Quince – an early start

Erika Groth in Sweden – aspens

Anni Kelsey – Gardens of Delight – trees on the Welsh border

Andrew – Kind Hearts and Corydalis – oak

Hollis – In the Company of Plants and Rocks – the chosen one (or two) on the University of Wyoming campus

Frances at Island Threads, off the North West coast of Scotland – hawthorn

Pat – Squirrelbasket – the London plane of Mermaid Quay

Flighty’s Plot – Liz’s witch hazel in Lexington, Kentucky, and Mike’s apple tree

Dan McShane – Reading the Washington Landscape – finding a (snow-covered) tree to follow in Washington State

We always love to read your tree news – so thank you to everyone who contributed this month. See you all again on April 7. Why not join us and follow a tree throughout the year? Although we all try to publish every month, we are very forgiving if you post less often.

Here is another round-up of tree news articles from around the world. Click on each of the pictures if you would like to read the full stories.

Plea to solve Welsh beach ‘coin tree’ mystery


The BBC tells the tale of a couple who have asked for help to solve the mystery of how a coin-studded tree trunk appeared on a South Wales beach…

‘Never randomise the placement of trees’


Arch Daily has a thought-provoking article on the elements of landscape design and tree layouts…

Continue Reading »


Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) on the Wharf in Cardiff Bay

There was not a lot to see on my latest walk around the Wharf (former Bute East Dock) in Cardiff Bay – at least in terms of vegetation. I found that someone had hacked back most of the bushes and perennials on the far side from my office in County Hall. Even the gorse I had looked forward to seeing in its golden glory had gone.

But there were some small pleasures. These pictures were taken on January 17… Continue Reading »


I caught sight of the Moon through the branches of my new tree-following subject when I visited at lunchtime on February 11


At last, my decision has been made. After much dithering I have chosen the London plane in Mermaid Quay, Cardiff Bay, as my tree-following subject for 2019. The Latin name is either Platanus × acerifolia or Platanus × hispanica.

Will the tree still be standing at the end of the year? Who knows? There is so much change going on in this area that you can never be too sure. The day before I visited to take these pictures I saw a smaller street tree nearby was being cut back to a stump. Continue Reading »