All posts from

January 2008

Happy New Year! New trees ahoy!

real Christmas tree

Happy New Year, dear reader. Let's hope it's a good one. Doesn't the tree above look great, all dressed up in Christmas lights? I took that about a year ago. I was just impressed. I mean, that's how you decorate a tree. And that's a fairly big tree.

It'll only be a few months before treeblog can look forwards to planting some more trees, the fabled Set B. What flavour trees shall B see? We're talking downy birch (Betula pubescens), European beech (Fagus sylvatica), weeping beech (a variant of European beech), dwarf pine (Pinus mugo), and sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa). The seeds and nuts are all collected (more on this later). Now all treeblog needs is time. And a bigger garden.

Posted in Miscellany

Snow: Whitwell Moor & Millstones Wood (3rd January 2008)

snow on Scots pine

Snow on Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris).

snowy boggy patch with birch and Scots pine in the background

A snowy boggy patch in a small wood. Birch and Scots pine in the background.

lonely oak

The lonely oak on Whitwell Moor (last seen in these treeblog posts from the 14th of August, 8th of May, and 29th of March - all 2007).

snowy woodland scene

A snowy woodland scene in Millstones Wood. Snow and stone and tree.

broken larch branch

This broken larch (Larix) branch looks like old news nowadays. There's even a patch of fungus visible at the back. But back on the 4th of April 2007 it was all fresh and glorious!

snowy larch twigs

A generous portion of larch twigs, delicately powdered with snow.

snow-covered beech

A picturesque snow-covered European beech (Fagus sylvatica) in Millstones Wood.

snow in the woods

A serene scene. Wintry beauty in the woods.

Posted in Gone for a walk

Beechnuts for treeblog's Set B

My favourite tree species is the European beech (Fagus sylvatica), so of course I want to grow some for treeblog. In the summer, when I was on one of my chestnut missions, I found an abundance of beechnuts beneath the big old chestnut. It is right next to a big old beech, you see. "What a marvellous opportunity!" I thought, and swiftly procured a handful. Those nuts are now sat around waiting to become beautiful treeblog trees as part of Set B (coming Spring 2008!).

collecting beechnuts

Collecting beechnuts on the 7th of July (photograph taken by my sister).


Lovely beechnuts.

the big old beech

The big old beech. Mighty!

treeblog beechnuts

The beechnuts that are destined for a treeblog planting.

Posted in The treeblog trees

Mountain pine for treeblog's Set B

mountain pine cones

Mountain pine cones.

I will be planting some mountain pine seeds as part of treeblog's Set B this spring. Mountain pine, also known as dwarf pine, is a real taxonomic confusion. There is a bewildering tangle of subspecies and variants and even hybrids. Nevertheless, I believe I am correct in identifying the seeds I will plant as being Pinus mugo subsp. mugo Turra; more simply Pinus mugo. See the four pine cones in the photograph above? I hand-picked those on a mountainside in the Italian Alps back on the 23rd of August on a field trip with the University of Edinburgh (see photos of the trip here and here). I picked 'em, and soon, I'm gonna plant 'em.

Posted in Holidays and field trips + The treeblog trees

Form: beech, horse chestnut, lime and willow

Look here. I've dug out some photos taken last year on February the 3rd. It was a lovely day with a beautiful clear sky. And some of the leafless trees in the Grange area of Edinburgh looked stunning against the wide blue yonder.

European beech

European beech (Fagus sylvatica). Smooth silver bark and fine, delicate branches.

horse chestnut

Horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastaneum). Thicker twigs than beech. Notice how the branches droop downwards but have recurved tips.


Lime (Tilia) - whether common, small- or large-leaved I do not know. Notice the dichotomy in size between the main branches and the finer twigs.


Willow (Salix) - I think. I can't remember, but it sure looks like willow.

Posted in Miscellany

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