Tree following: June

It turns out that choosing to follow an absolutely humungous tree on a residential street isn’t just a problem because you have to lean out of the window to take photos. It’s also difficult because you can’t get a very good view of what’s going on. I might have to resort to watching my tree through binoculars, but that would make me look even more suspicious.

I like to observe the natural world in close detail but clearly I’ll have to wait until the leaves and seeds start falling off my tree if I don’t want to look like the neighbourhood busybody. So for this month I’ve taken a few pictures that show the whole tree in all its glory.

tree portrait

And glory does seem to be the right word for a fully leaved silver birch. I love the contrast between the green of the leaves and the paleness of the bark, and the way the foliage hangs down like waterfalls.

up

foliage

I did manage to capture one silver birch detail. I’ll confess that it’s not actually on ‘my’ tree, but on another one in the street (you can just see it in the background of the top picture).

seedling

At first I thought it was a new branch sprouting. But that doesn’t really seem right. It’s a long way down from the other branches and to me it looks more than anything like a silver birch seedling. I’ve read that silver birch seeds take root very easily in quite poor soil: that’s one reason why they are among the first species to colonise bare ground. So I’m wondering if this is in fact a seedling, possibly from ‘my’ tree, growing in a little pocket of organic matter caught in a neighbouring trunk. I’d be interested to hear what anyone else thinks.

You can see my previous tree following posts here and here. (May’s post fell victim to essay deadlines!)

 

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4 comments

  1. Johanna what and interesting blog and such beautiful photos. I have a friend who is a forester, I’ll show him your blog and get back in touch with you. Also, as you know, I haven’t been blogging as jacquelinehanginginthere. I have however set up a new blog, you can find me here:- http://damselinthisdress2014.wordpress.com/ I would very much like to add you to my blog list. I hope that’s ok.

  2. Have been peering at the leafy bit sticking out of the trunk. At the base it looks as if it’s growing out of the tree itself rather than being a seedling caught in the bark. But at the top it looks like a nettle. I imagine that will win me a prize for the most unhelpful suggestion? But I can’t do better!

    1. I’ve been back to have another, proper look: it’s definitely part of a silver birch, although I can see where the nettle resemblance lies. The funny thing is, there’s another the same, diametrically opposite on the other side of the trunk. Which makes me think it’s part of the tree, rather than a blown-in seed. But these little sprouts are a good few metres below the main branches. Intriguing!

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