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Monday, 20 May 2013

Trees---What's happening?

Trees are very late in coming into leaf this Spring. I have never seen such a reluctance in bud opening and there are many Oaks that still have their's tightly shut.
Birch which is normally green by this time, is looking scrappy and tired and I have seen one which has only a few leaves as all the remaining buds and twigs are dead. Birch has looked desperate for a few years with their leaves heavily brown with rust.
Lime trees are struggling to open their full compliment of leaves. I have seen Hawthorns that have died suddenly over a couple of years. Elder bushes have died in a similar timescale. Sycamores, which normally are one of the earliest trees to leaf, have many that are still in bud.
I think last year's never ending rain may have affected root systems, coupled with the lack of sunshine last year and this, plus the persistent below average temps.
Maybe trees will recover and catch up but I wonder if many are under severe stress.
Has anyone else any observations?


Steve Blacksmith said...
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Steve Blacksmith said...

Hi Philip,
it is a strange season, you're right.
I was looking at a common ash last night that only had the very first spurt of green showing.
That species along with oak, though, are known for their late leafing, hence the saying 'Ash before oak, we're in for a soak, Oak before ash, we're in a for a splash.'
My pear trees bore blossom but not one fruit last year, and this year not even any blossom, just a healthy crop of leaves! My Morrello Cherry on the other hand is a mass of gorgeous white blossom. Do you grow any top fruit?

Steve Blacksmith said...

p.s. A very interesting find yesterday in the Ryburn Valley at Kebroyd, by the causey leading down to the footbridge and the Autumn Crocus sites, was a colony of seedlings in the field, offspring of the ancient Hornbeam we've known there for many years. First time I've seen Hornbeam regenerating anywhere.

Philip said...

Yes we have a young apple tree and damson and plum and they seem fine. Apple flowering at the moment.
I have never seen a self-seeded hornbeam. We don't have many of these trees in the valley but you would expect some seedlings. They are mainly a south-east tree, perhaps they don't ripen their seeds up here?