Category Archives: Photography
In the second encounter of his birthday tour, Ash meet a particularly stout example of his namesake tree:
You can clearly see that our ash was once a much taller tree. Its ‘pollarding’ was severe, but the Ash today is flourishing and it has already established a fine new crown. I hope the wood-rotting fungi take it easy on the bole and roots so the tree can live out the FC’s optimistic prediction of another century or two, but there are dark clouds on the horizon in the form of Chalara fraxinea – the dreaded ash dieback that has run rampant across Europe.
Ash, at treeblog, gave himself a tree-tour of a birthday trip. In the first part of the journey, Birthday Tour (Part 1): Loch Rannoch – the Fortingall Yew – Bridge of Balgie, he meets a truly charismatic ancient tree in a post rich with historical illustration:
The Fortingall Yew is one of the oldest known trees in Europe. Allen Meredith (whose estimates according to The Tree Register Handbook “are as well-informed as anyone’s”) has suggested it could be as old as 5,000 years (along with the yews at Discoed in Powys and Llangernyw in Conwy), which is certainly something to think about. But what I find truly incredible is the gargantuan size it once reached. Forget the Yew as it stands today, so small, so utterly destroyed by ‘tourists’ in the 18th and 19th centuries, and try to wrap your mind around this: in the mid-1700s the Fortingall Yew had a girth of 56 and a half feet (17.2 m): a diameter of 5.5 metres (18 ft)! Consider that the thickest tree in Britain today is probably the Marton Oak with a dbh of 446 cm when measured around the three remaining sections of its trunk (although there are giant sequoias 7 m thick where their flared boles meet the ground). A five-and-a-half metre thick yew is phenomenal!
The tree grew so well, the space available to it became a little congested. At the top of the tree (which, I would guess, is about two feet high) leaves would rise above road level, only to be sheered off by the tyres of cars running over it. It isn’t a busy street so leaves would have time to grow and poke up — but they never lasted.
Have you ever seen a photo of a newborn mammal? The way the light shines through the pink flesh, through the transparent eyelids and through the doughy snouts, a field of stars shining through every new finger and toe?
It shines through the new leaves in the same way.
I couldn’t take my eyes off the leaves…
The question is – are they long? or long enough? or longer than the other ones? And are the leaves first? or the blossom? Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy explains how it’s not always easy to tell the haw- from the black- when it comes to thorns.
For those of us in northern climes, winter can be a good time to look at moss, lichen, and the woodier shelf fungi. British blogger Lucy Corrander finds and photographs February fungi on old, felled and fallen wood of yew and sycamore. (If you know your U.K. polypores, stop by and help her out with the i.d.s.)
Gillian Ware shares a photo gallery of rainbow eucalyptus (Eucalyptus deglupta) at her Tree A. Ware blog.
Apart from being a magic tree, it has two magic common names: Rainbow Eucalyptus and Painted Bark Eucalyptus, both descriptive of its multicoloured bark. Like other Eucalyptus’ it sheds its bark— but in this case the lower layer is a vivid green. As different layers mature, they change colour— to orange, purples and blues, dark maroon being the final colour— resulting in fantastic paint brushstroke-like streaks.
Ashley Peace at treeblog visited the Hermitage, Dunkeld (in the Scottish Highlands), to see Britain’s 3rd tallest tree, and came back with some fine black-and-white photos of the tree and the surrounding area.
Just because she’s started following a new tree this year, Lucy at Loose and Leafy has found that she can’t abandon last year’s sycamore. She shares some new photos of the tree and its forb companions, and concludes the post with a list of links to other tree-followers. (Add your blog to the list by finding a tree of your own to follow this year.)