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Saturday, 6 June 2015

Fern leaved Beech tree

This is the only Fern-Leaved Beech in Centre Vale Park at Todmorden. It was a lovely tree a couple of years ago but this year is showing extreme crown die-back. I doubt it will have any leaves next year.

These Fagus sylvatica 'Asplenifolia' are graft chimaera of continental origin, so exhibit normal Beech leaves as well as the cut-leaved ones on the same tree. The photo shows how slender some of these are and very willow-like.

The original tree was planted in Surrey in 1826 but I think the one in Centre Vale was planted about 1869, probably by the famous landscaper Edward Kemp, who also designed the landscape at nearby Dobroyd Castle (where there is another Fern-leaved Beech).

If anyone wishes to see this tree in Centre Vale (adjacent to John Fielden statue) now is the time before its gone.

1 comment:

Steve Blacksmith said...

That's a shame that the old tree is dying.

I think there is another variety of beech with dissected leaves which I thought was Fern-leaved Beech. Its leaves are more of the pattern of a Rowan, though more delicate and graceful, as is the whole tree. There is an old one of these at Shibden Hall, and another younger one in a private drive beside the road at Bradshaw.

Those graft chimeras are amazing. The way part of the rootstock grows up through the plant and emerges among the scion foliage is very strange, though I've only read about them.