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Thursday, 18 June 2015

Beech Tree in Gorpley Clough

Further to my post about the unusual shaped leaves of a common Beech; Steve's mention of different varieties prompted me to look in my copy of Bean's Trees and Shrubs, in which he describes one called 'Grandidentata'

I looked on the web and found this illustration of  'Grandidentata' which does look very similar to the one in Gorpley Clough. According to Krussman's book on trees, this variety originated in 1810.

The hooded leaves and cuneate base do suggest it is close to this variety, even though the edges are not quite as wavy. I will have a closer look at the whole tree in Gorpley Clough, which is maybe 170 years old, to see if there is any variation throughout the tree.

If it is a 'Grandidentata' it may be one of the earliest planted and largest in the country---by whom I wonder? It maybe growing on land owned by Calderdale Council or Yorkshire Water, I'm not sure where the dividing line is.

The photo below is from the National Botanic Garden in Belgium via Wikimedia. Check it out with my photo beneath this one--do they look similar?
                                              Belgium
 
 
Gorpley Clough
 
 
 
 

1 comment:

Steve Blacksmith said...

Yes it does look like it Philip. It's amazing how trees and ferns produce these "sports" that are different to the majority of their species.

I suppose they are cases of evolution going on. If a mutation is more vigorous or fertile than the crowd, it will soon start dominating the land. "Soon" in the scale of tree generations !

It is interesting to think that the self-seeded beech that we see around some of our woods are only second generation of beech in our area. The old ones that are producing the seed were all planted around the time of the Industrial Revolution, I have been informed. (The timber was needed to make things in the mills, like the framework for wicker skips that were wheeled around between the machines, apparently.)