An interesting tree

… Thought I’d write about an interesting tree. There’ll be many posts with this title!

This ancient tree is in the middle of a fairly clear area, so it has lots of space and light to grow as it wishes, without any competition from surrounding trees. When you walk towards it from this first side, you can see from the thickness of the trunk that the tree was once tall and large. At some point the top has fallen, and you can see the ragged broken wood at the top of the trunk. The trunk itself is dead, with living bark part way around it. When you get up close to the tree you can see where the edge of this living bark is well healed over, and is wrapped well around the dead trunk. Looking up to the leaves, it’s clear that the tree is a sessile oak – the leaves are on stalks, and the base of the leaves are slender and graceful in how they leave the stalks. The surprise of the tree is round the other side, and it’s a huge surprise. At one time this tree experienced a forest fire, at a time when the trunk was already hollow. The fire charred the inside of the trunk, and you can see how charred and burnt the inside is. On this side of the tree, you can see also that the trunk has a huge opening, and has a large section of the dead trunk completely missing. But, even with all of this, the tree is alive, carrying on growing its low branches, and seems happy enough to carry on for a great many years yet.