Tree Following – August 2021

It’s Tree Following time again and our Avenue of Lime Trees has been busy.

Tree following fruits

Those jolly little flowers that we were admiring last month have started turning into fruit. Before we continue, here’s a look at The Avenue from the usual vantage point:

Tree following avenue

All things considered, it looks pretty similar to last time; a little fuller, a little deeper green perhaps.

Fruits

It seems that the trees are now focusing all of their efforts on fruiting up. Spring was mostly about growing, early summer about flowering, and now it’s about making good on all those flowers.

Tree following fruits
You can see the distinctive structure of the fruits hanging where the flowers once were, held beneath the increasingly pale-looking bracts. Although the trees are fairly well laden with these little packages, they have evidently shed a good number of the excess fruits:
Tree following fallen bracts

The floor is littered with bracts and aborted fruits.

Letting themselves go

While the trees are putting all their efforts into fruit production, their leaves are starting to look a bit worse for wear in places. They still look verdant and vigorous when taking a superficial view…

Tree following leaves
…but a closer inspection shows a bit of wear and tear…
Leaves

…and lots of the leaves are showing signs of damage from all the aphids that feed on them:

Leaves

I should think that the leaves are still getting the job done. They only need to last a couple more months and then their work is finished.

Face of the Month

I mentioned last time that I was planning to feature a “Who stole my sandwiches?” face, and here he is:

Tree following face

Wearing a monocle and a look of despair, this one does make me chuckle! Incidentally, you can see all the fallen bracts carpeting the grass behind our dismayed friend.

Holiday Special

I’ve just come back from a week in North Wales and I’ll do a post next week about the various botanical insights of the trip. In the meantime, here are a couple of tree-based highlights.

Firstly, exploring the hillsides and slate mines above Llanberis, we walked through some fantastic Sessile Oak woodlands:

Tree Following sessile oaks

The trees that grow on these hillsides are gnarled and twisted before their time by the harsh conditions. The plentiful rain (particularly plentiful on this particular day) and damp weather provide an excellent environment for mosses and lichens:

The Oak woodlands are the an example of the what happens when we leave things alone. In this particular case, the woodlands are reclaiming the derelict slate mines that scatter the hillsides. The second arboreal highlight of the holiday comes from the opposite end of the spectrum; man made, but equally impressive:

These Monterey Pines lined the way down to Plas Newydd (a stately home overlooking the Menai Strait between Anglesey and the mainland). Obviously they create quite an impression with their large stature and architectural form, but I also liked the strange criss-cross patterns on the bark.

Anyway, that brings us to the end of this month’s Tree Following. Do pop over to The Squirrelbasket to see more Tree Following posts:

Tree Following

See you next time!

6 thoughts on “Tree Following – August 2021”

  1. Fantastic shots of the Monterey pines, which look so different from the ones I knew in California! These are spectacular with their large straight trunks.

    1. They’re great aren’t they. You walk past these as you make your way down to the house and they really make an impression on all the passers by.

  2. Excellent update – I always think trees start to look tired in August.
    Those pines are amazing! Surely too big to be in Britain! Love the cheeky monkey…
    And I always imagine sessile oaks as gnarled and slightly horizontal as to me “sessile” sounds like they are sitting down, but I see the word means fixed in one place or immobile, just relating to the acorns having no stalks…
    Yours are just the way I imagine them to be.
    All the best 🙂

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: