There are so many trees in the forest, all interesting, all with stories to tell. I thought I’d start writing about them one at a time – I have so many favourite trees, but here’s one….
As you see, it has a very large trunk – it’s over 6m in girth, so is a fairly impressive tree. It’s growing next to a grassy path in the forest. I like walking past it and paying a visit every now and then.
Maybe it’s easy to just walk by and not notice a few things that are interesting… One of the things I notice, is that all of the growth is at the top of the trunk, and that this trunk is shorter than it was when the tree was full height. There’s no epicormic growth on the mid and lower trunk at all, so the tree is fairly focused on the top of the trunk for its growth. The forest feels a little shaded in that area, sort of a dappled light-ish shade rather than sunny and open.
The bark goes all around the trunk, and is complete. Some of the Sherwood trees have bark that only covers half or part of the trunk, so it’s always good to see a big oak with all of its bark still there. The bark is smooth rather than burry. Looking round the other side, you can see where lower branches used to be, and where there are now holes – there’s one hole that’s quite large, near the top of the trunk.
There are some really obvious ‘features’ lower on the trunk – one being this huge branch scar. It’s so healed over that only a small hole remains in the middle – wow, how many decades, even centuries, would this have taken to grow over, from the time when the branch fell?
Just round the tree a little are some short strips of missing bark – again, these wounds must have happened decades ago, as the edges of them are so well and thickly rounded over. The trunk behind/inside these wounds is still solid, rather than there being a cavity, but looks weathered and has lichen growing on it.
I stopped by this tree last April and was looking at the top of these two wounds, and saw a two-banded longhorn beetle!
I’ll write about other trees in the coming days – they’re all so interesting……