A tree for today

Let’s look at another tree…..

…this is a tree that’s growing right next to one of the paths through the forest. It’s quite easy to walk past and not really notice it as it’s so leafy – all of the growth is making the most of the light from the open space of the path.

Here’s a great example of why it’s interesting to look at all the different sides of a tree. It’s obvious from the girth that the tree used to be much taller, so that’s the first clue that there might be more to see.

Even on the way round the side of the tree, there’s so much going on –hollowing branches, and huge amounts of epicormic growth, large and small.

Looking up, it’s almost difficult to see the top of the tree, as all of these epicormic branches obscure the view. But, there’s one place where you can see the main trunk, and there’s lots going on there – broken branches, dead branches, branch stubs, holes, exposed wood of the trunk, healed over bark edges, broken top of the trunk, and yes, lots of epicormic growth as well.

The main surprise comes when you walk round the side of the tree that’s away from the path….. it’s completely hollow! There’s lots of epicormic growth on this side too, and the hollowing goes right up the trunk.

The living bark layer goes a long way round the central cavity, so the tree is quite stable without the solid central trunk. I wonder how long it took, for the dead trunk to decay away to nothing. There are enough roots to support such a large tree, and the tree seems to have a good strong vitality to be growing so actively.

I like this tree. It’s always a nice one to walk past.