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the Set C rowans
Posted on May 31, 2012 by Ash
I’ve left it a stupidly long time since the last one, but here’s the latest update on all thirteen Set C(r) rowans (excluding the tricots, which I haven’t shown on treeblog in an even looonger time, but which will make an appearance soon). I took the photos on Tuesday – Day 1113 – just over three years since I planted the rowans as seeds. The last update was in May of last year on Day 720.
U2 – Tiny. Along with U7, this seedling has the same mildew-type affliction that affected the majority of the Set C(r) rowans last year.
U5 – healthy but tiny.
U7 – tiny and suffering from the mildew-type disease.
U14 – the tallest tree in the set, measuring a whopping 67 cm tall.
W2 – another tall one.
W6 – kind of average.
W7 – I think the the two little branches sprouting from near the base have died.
W11 – another tall one, with a suppressed second stem.
W12 – a little smaller than average.
W15 – pleasing to look at.
W17 – has the leafiest stem.
W18 – kind of average.
W19 – doesn’t look very sturdy, and one tiny branch has a bit of that mildewy stuff, but otherwise looks healthy.
I also measured the heights of all thirteen rowans. They are ranked in descending order in the table below:
Posted on May 20, 2011 by Ash
’Upper Midhope’ rowans No. 2 (approx. 11 cm tall) & No. 5 (the shortest of the set at 7 cm).
It’s been a looong time since the Set C(r) rowans featured in a treeblog update. Since that time, the size of the set has been significantly reduced by the loss of identifying flags (read about it in the census). Here are the current lot, before I beef up the numbers by dipping into the reserves.
’Upper Midhope’ rowan No. 7 (12 cm).
’Upper Midhope’ rowan No. 14 (51 cm) & ‘Whitwell Moor’ rowan No. 2 (44 cm).
‘Whitwell Moor’ rowans No. 6 (33 cm) & No. 7 (36 cm).
‘Whitwell Moor’ rowans No. 11 (the tallest of the set at 52 cm) & No. 12 (26 cm – has had its top bitten off since this photo was taken).
‘Whitwell Moor’ rowans No. 15 (37 cm) & No. 17 (46 cm).
‘Whitwell Moor’ rowans No. 18 (34 cm) & No. 19 (22 cm).
Sometime last week downy birch No. 13 from Set C was uprooted, probably by one of the grey squirrels that frequent our garden. I’m pretty sure it’s a goner.
Posted on April 16, 2011 by Ash
I’m afraid I have been rather lax of late in sticking to this blog’s original purpose of charting the development of the treeblog trees. There have been some pretty important developments over the winter, yet I’ve hardly mentioned a thing. I badly needed to turn over a new leaf, so I have carried out a full census of the trees to provide a snapshot overview of the treeblog population as it is today. It may send you to sleep. Here goes :
The two Scots pines (Alpha & Gamma) are alive and well. They last appeared in an update in June. (Nearly a whole year ago?? Can that be right??)
post-Set A willow
The PSAUS is alive and coming nicely into leaf.
Fifteen of the downy birches are alive and coming into leaf: Nos. 1, 2, 4, 5, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 25, 27 & 30. Since the last update in August, No. 28 has gone missing from its pot (possibly squirrel-related).
I’ve cocked up big-time with the Set C(r) rowans. At the end of June I planted the nineteen ‘Whitwell Moor’ seedlings (Nos. W1 – W15 & W17 – W20) and twenty ‘Upper Midhope’ seedlings (Nos. U1 – U20) out in individual pots. Each seedling was identified with a little flag made out of sellotape and a cocktail stick. Disastrously, during the winter many of the cocktails sticks have rotted through and these flags have blown away. Which means I have a large number of seedlings that could have come from either the Whitwell Moor rowan or the Upper Midhope rowan. Which kind of defeats the object. I think these identity-less rowans will have to be released from under the treeblog umbrella. The remaining identifiable Set C(r) rowans are Nos. W2, W6, W7, W11, W12, W14, W15, W17, W18, W19, U2, U5, U7 & U14: ten Whitwell Moors and four Upper Midhopes. Doh! I think the Upper Midhope population will have to be topped up from the reserves still in the seed tray.
Both the single normal beech and the single cut- or fern-leaved beech remain alive and well. They last appeared in an update in June.
In the last update in May, there were nine Oaken Clough rowan seedlings (O1 – O9) and seven Whitwell Moor rowan seedlings (W1 – W7). Today all nine Oaken Clough seedlings are alive, but two of the Whitwell Moor seedlings have died (W3 & W4). There are plenty of reserves still in the seed trays, so these populations can be topped up.
OK… I think I’ve cleared all that up as best I can. Here’s a quick summary of what is currently alive and accounted for in the treeblog stables then: 3 grey alders (Alnus incana); 2 Scots pines (Pinus sylvestris); 1 cider gum (Eucalyptus gunnii); 15 downy birches (Betula pubescens); 33 rowans (Sorbus aucuparia); & 2 European beeches (Fagus sylvatica)… which gives a grand total of 56 trees spread over 6 different species. [Plus the honorary treeblog tree, the PSAUS, which is a willow - possibly a goat willow (Salix caprea).]
Posted on September 13, 2010 by Ash
’Upper Midhope’ rowans Nos. 1 to 4.
As I said in the last post, I planted the Set C(r) Whitwell Moor rowans in individual pots at the end of June. Unfortunately I never got around to planting their peers, the Set C(r) Upper Midhope rowans, until the 30th of August – two months later. This means that the Whitwell Moor (W) rowans have a massive advantage over their Upper Midhope (U) buddies. I mean, there’s a big difference in size. But while this sucks for the U rowans, it’ll be interesting to see how quickly they catch up to the W rowans.
U rowans Nos. 5 to 8.
U rowans Nos. 9 to 12.
U rowans Nos. 13 to 16.
U rowans Nos. 17 to 20.
Posted on September 11, 2010 by Ash
’Whitwell Moor’ rowan No. 1.
I’m afraid it’s been almost four months since the Set C(r) rowans were last seen on treeblog, which is too long an absence for these fantastic seedlings. The speed with which the Whitwell Moor (W) rowans have grown since I planted them out in individual pots on the 26th of June is really quite amazing.
W rowans Nos. 2 and 3.
W rowans Nos. 4 and 5.
W rowans Nos. 6 and 7.
W rowans Nos. 8 and 9.
W rowans Nos. 10 and 11.
W rowans Nos. 12 and 13.
W rowans Nos. 14 and 15.
W rowans Nos. 17 and 18.
W rowans Nos. 19 and 20.
Posted on May 16, 2010 by Ash
Whitwell Moor rowan No. 1 (W1).
Well, it’s not the most fun job in the world, but someone’s got to do it. It’s a labour of love. It’s another treeblog Set C(r) update (photos taken this afternoon – Day 369).
Rowans W2 to W5.
Rowans W6 to W9.
Rowans W10 to W13.
Rowans W14 to W17.
Rowans W18 to W20 and Upper Midhope rowan No. 2 (U2).
Rowans U3 to U6.
Rowans U7 to U10.
Rowans U11 to U14.
Rowans U15 to U18.
Rowans U19 and U20 and Whitwell Moor tricot rowans Nos. 1 and 2 (WT1 and WT2).
Rowans WT3 to WT6. The sixth tricot is still in the seed tray with all its feral brethren, awaiting transplantation.
Set C(r) rowans transplanted. Six rowan tricots. Set D rowans planted. The fate of the Set D beeches and sweet chestnuts.
Posted on April 12, 2010 by Ash
The transplanted Set C(r) rowans (Sorbus aucuparia) yesterday, minus the tricots.
Yesterday was a busy day for treeblog…
The first five Upper Midhope rowan seedlings, U1 to U5, en route to the plug tray.
The plug tray as a bird would see it. May they live long and prosper.
The first five tricots, WT1 to WT5, en route to their plug tray.
A closer look at WT1…
…and WT2 and WT3 and WT4 and WT5. Marvellous.
The germinated Oaken Clough seedlings, freshly removed from the pretreatment plant pot and ready for planting.
F1: one germinating cut-leaved beech nut. Yes!!!
These three germinated beechnuts I planted in pots. The damaged beech will just shrivel and die; it has expended all of its energy on a root that is now not there. The cut-leaved beech trapped in the cupule will probably die from being unable to escape its prison. Now all of treeblog’s beech hopes and dreams rest on the shoulders of one cut-leaved beech. No pressure or anything.
Posted on April 8, 2010 by Ash
Grand news tree fans! Most of the Set C downy birches (Betula pubescens) have made it through the harsh winter and are now beginning to unfurl their first leaves of the year. The last time I posted a Set C birch update, in September, there were twenty-two seedlings left to follow. Today, that number is down to seventeen. Seventeen tiny birches, and you can see photos of each of them below. But first, a little bit of clarification on the current status of each seedling:
Now for le photos – taken on Sunday (Day 389).
Who’s this, then? It’s downy birch No. 1!
Downy birches Nos. 2 and 4.
Downy birches Nos. 5 and 10.
Downy birches Nos. 12 to 15.
Downy birches Nos. 21 and 22.
Downy birches Nos. 24 to 26 and No. 30.
Downy birches Nos. 27 and 28 - disappointingly prostrate.
And now for the dead ones. At least, they certainly have the appearance of being dead. But you never know… Maybe one or two of them will stage an unlikely comeback? Trust no-one!
Dead downy birches Nos. 3, 11, 16 and 23.
Dead downy birch No. 6.
Dead downy birch No. 9 – photographed yesterday (Day 392), a few days after its fellow cadavers. I, uh, missed it the first time around or something. The blue slug pellets should tell you two things. 1) No. 9 is exceedingly tiny; and 2) Now that winter is over, the slugs and the snails are oot and aboot again so I’m getting Vietnam flashbacks to June 2007, when the Set A seedlings where mullered by slugs. You ain’t getting your 27,000 teeth on my seedlings this time, you malevolent molluscs!
Set C(r) news: On Tuesday (Day 329), three new Upper Midhope rowan seedlings appeared: U3, U4 and U5. Yesterday, (Day 330), a further two Upper Midhope rowan seedlings appeared: U6 and U7. I think I’ll have to transplant the Set C(r) seedlings from the seed tray into plant pots rather soon…
Posted on April 5, 2010 by Ash
Excellent news! The rowans (Sorbus aucuparia) that I planted 328 days ago are sprouting in droves! This afternoon I counted around forty seedlings growing where I planted seeds from the Whitwell Moor rowan and two seedlings growing where I planted seeds from the Upper Midhope rowan. That’s a lot of seedlings, and treeblog can really only follow so many – so I’ve picked twenty of the Whitwell Moor seedlings to follow, along with as many Upper Midhope seedlings that germinate (up to twenty). That’s still a lot of rowans, and I’ve yet to even plant the Set D rowan seeds I collected last year (which I’m going to go ahead and plant anyway to see which of the three methods of pre-treatment used worked best).
The skeletal Upper Midhope rowan, seen here on the 24th of August 2006.
But when I reached the spot where the rowan grew, it had sadly fallen over!
The Whitwell Moor rowan on the day of berry collection.
Along with some downy birch seeds and some sweet chestnuts, I planted both lots of rowan berries as treeblog Set C on the 11th of March 2009. I mistakenly planted the berries whole – but apparently you’re supposed to remove the seeds from the berries before planting.
On the day of planting. The Upper Midhope berries occupy the upper third of the top-left tray; the Whitwell Moor berries occupy the bottom-right tray.
After realising my mistake, I exhumed the berries and removed the seeds on the 10th & 11th of May 2009 - what a messy procedure! I replanted the cleaned-up seeds on the 12th of May, calling them Set C(r) (r for rowan) to distinguish them from the rest of Set C, which didn’t need replanting. [11th March 2009 = Set C Day 0 / 12th May 2009 = Set C(r) Day 0.]
The Whitwell Moor seeds after cleaning, prior to replanting.
A month later, in mid-June, several seedlings appeared in the Set C(r) seed tray, but they turned out to be self-set willows, not rowans. (Some of the willows are now dead; the rest I tried to kill by ‘coppicing’ them so that they wouldn’t compete with any future-sprouting rowans - I couldn’t just pull them up because their roots were so extensive I’d have messed up the whole seed tray. Of course, these tiny willow stumps survived and are now budding up!)
The two Upper Midhope seedlings (designated by ‘U’): U1 & U2.
…And the twenty Whitwell Moor seedlings (designated by ‘W’):
W1 to W5.
W6 to W10.
W11 to W15.
W16 to W20.
Posted on April 4, 2010 by Ash
On parade today are all fifteen Set A cider gums, lined up and ready to be inspected for the first time since August! These poor young eucalypts have been ravaged by the harshest winter for many a year, and it looks as though six of our comrades have fallen (and most of the survivors have frost-damaged tips) – yet there may be still be hope. The previous winter (2008-2009) looked to have dealt fatal blows to cider gums Nos. 3 and 15, but they somehow managed to crawl back from the precipice of the grave. Hardy buggers. Can this miracle be repeated in 2010? (Photographs taken yesterday, 1102 days since I planted Set A.)
Cider gum No. 1 – looking very dead. Has it fallen into the endless abyss?
Cider gum No. 2 – one of the tall Class I gums.
Cider gum No. 3 - one of the three Class III runty gums. The dead upper part of No. 3 was killed off by the previous winter, but the winter-just-gone looks to have put paid to its recovery efforts.
Cider gum No. 4.
Cider gum No. 5 – another one of those that may now be At Rest.
Cider gum No. 6 – another Class III, another cadaver?
Cider gum No. 7 – the tallest of all the cider gums. A real Class I über-gum. It now shares its pot with a brassy young sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) that has recently sprouted.
Cider gum No. 7’s new roomie.
Cider gum No. 8.
Cider gum No. 9 also has a new roomie: a wee clump of what look to be rushes.
I hope it’s Juncus effusus!
Cider gum No. 10.
Cider gum No. 11 – another victim of winter.
Cider gum No. 12 - Class I.
Cider gum No. 13 – the only treeblog tree still on crutches. Some of the other gums are looking a bit leany or loose in the soil, so support canes will probably be making a comeback.
Cider gum No. 14 - Class I.
Cider gum No. 15 - Class III. Has this winter managed what the previous one couldn’t? Poor things looks dead as a door-post.
Set C news: There are Set C(r) rowans sprouting by the bucketload! These beauties will be the subject of the next post, but I’ll tell you right here and now that yesterday I counted thirty-three seedlings in the Whitwell Moor section and two in the Upper Midhope section. I photographed them this afternoon, along with the Set C birches, which are just beginning to put out their first leaves of the new year. treeblog is in a good place!
Posted on June 18, 2009 by Ash
We’ve had the birches; now it’s time for the Set C / Set C(r) rowans, or those seedlings that have grown where rowans were planted. They might not be rowans. Nine seedlings have germinated in the ‘Whitwell Moor’ seed tray section, but only one has germinated in the ‘Upper Midhope’ section. ‘Whitwell Moor’ rowan (WMR) No. 1 and ‘Upper Midhope’ rowan (UMR) No. 1 both germinated before I exhumed the Set C rowan berries, removed the seeds, and replanted them as Set C(r) 37 days ago. WMR Nos. 2 to 9 germinated after the replanting, so I’m classifying them as being in Set C(r) whereas I’m classifying WMR No. 1 and UMR No. 1 as being in plain old Set C.
WMR No. 1 (left) and UMR No. 1 (right). The two clearly belong to different species. So which one, if any, is the rowan?
WMR Nos. 2 to 5.
WMR Nos. 6 to 9.
All of the seedlings except UMR No. 1 appear to belong to the same species. This suggests that they are all actual rowans and not self-sown randoms, especially when you bear in mind that no similar looking seedlings have germinated in the birch seed tray. It seems too unlikely that nine seedlings of a single (non-rowan) species could have self-seeded in the rowan seed tray without any self-seeding in the birch tray. So: all of the seedlings from the birch tray appear to be the same species – downy birch; and all of the WMR seedlings appear to be the same species – presumably rowan. UMR No. 1 is presumably a weed.
Posted on May 12, 2009 by Ash
The ‘Whitwell Moor’ rowan seeds after cleaning.
After exhuming the ‘Whitwell Moor’ rowan berries and extracting the seeds on Sunday, I did the same for the ‘Upper Midhope’ rowan berries yesterday. I also removed any trace of berry from all of the seeds, then today I replanted them. FYI kiddo, today is Set C(r) Day 0 / Set C Day 62 / Set A Day 776. It’s hard to keep track sometimes, isn’t it?
The ‘Upper Midhope’ rowan seeds after cleaning.
Set A also saw some replanting, or rather repotting. Both Scots pines received a much-needed pot upgrade, as did the larger cider gums: Nos. 2, 7, 12, 13 and 14. All were repotted in a two-parts compost, one-part sand mixture. The rest of the Set A characters need repotting too but they’ll have to wait a bit: I’m all out of compost and sand now. Looks like a trip to a garden centre or the B&Q is on the cards then, where I’ll also be looking to procure four super-large pots for the grey alders.
The newly potted treelings. From left to right (in the big pots), cider gums Nos. 14, 2, 13, 7 and 12, then Scots pine Beta and Scots pine Alpha on the end. Cider gum No. 10, still in one of the old pots, is included for scale. The rowan seed tray is there too!
treeblog updates for all the trees coming soon!
Posted on May 11, 2009 by Ash
I spent some time yesterday transplanting twenty-five birch seedlings out of the seed tray and into small plant pots, two per pot. Which twenty-five? All of the birches from No. 1 to No 30 except No. 29 – the tricot – and Nos. 8, 18, 19 and 20. Why those twenty-five? I decided to transplant just the first thirty birches for reasons of time, space, and their delicate nature. I’m not sure transplanting them at so an early stage is such a good idea, which is why I’ve left tricotyledonous No. 29 in situ for now – I don’t dare risk disturbing it. Nos. 8, 18, 19 and 20 I can no longer tell apart from each other and surrounding seedlings, so they’ve been left behind in the seed tray, lost in their own tiny forest. All the other seedlings in the birch tray, for the time being, will be left to their own devices.
Birches Nos. 2, 3, 4 and 7, mid-transplant (all to the same scale). These four had particularly long roots which were fairly free of soil.
I also sifted through the ‘Whitwell Moor’ rowan tray and removed all of the berries (sixty days after I planted them on the 11th of March), a course of action explained in this post from a week and a half ago. Before doing this I had to transplant the only seedling in the tray into a pot. It was very tiny and I’m quite sure it wasn’t a rowan. Still, it might be interesting finding out what it is.
A handful of exhumed berries before rinsing. There were way more than the few seen here!
The fruits of my labour, or maybe the labour of my fruits: the rowan seeds in submerged. Not one had germinated so far as I could tell.
The waste product heap. This handful of slimy rowan berry mush went in the compost bin.
This big grub or maggot, about four centimetres long, was lurking in the rowan tray’s soil along with a smaller grub, several small earthworms, and a long orange centipede. The surface of each seed tray is also home to numerous springtails.
Posted on May 1, 2009 by Ash
Before we get stuck in to the main course, would Reader like a starter? Another two seedlings were observed in the birch tray yesterday (Day 50), bringing the total to twenty-six. On top of that, a Set C first: two seedlings were discovered in sweet chestnut territory! But are they really sweet chestnut seedlings or just weed impostors? I’ve never seen a sweet chestnut seedling before, but I had a mental image of them being, uh, beefier. At least they’re not nettles…
The Set C birch seeds. I collected them from an impressive tree on Whitwell Moor. Those catkins (more correctly “strobiles”) were chock-a-block full of seeds too.
The Set C sweet chestnuts. I collected them from a magnificent old tree at Wigtwizzle.
…some very small seeds, such as willow and poplar, and some very large fruits, such as oak, sycamore, sweet chestnut and horse chestnut, die quite soon after being shed from the tree – one of the last properties you would normally associate with seeds. The fruits are killed if they dry out and at present there is no known method of doing anything more than slowing down their rate of deterioration. It is therefore only worth collecting seeds of these species if you can sow them fairly quickly, or are prepared to suffer significant losses over, for example, one winter’s storage.
Great. It goes on to describe chestnuts as recalcitrant – highly perishable. One thing you can’t do is to let these things dry out: “if they are frozen or dried, they die”. I didn’t have anywhere humid to store my chestnuts, so I stuck them in the shed all winter. The air in the shed is certainly not as dry as that in the house, but I wouldn’t exactly call it humid. At least I didn’t put them in the freezer.
I collected these, the majority of the Set C rowan berries, from a tree on Whitwell Moor. A further eighty or so berries were collected from a tree near Upper Midhope.
Fleshy fruits are also some of the most awkward and certainly the messiest to process. …very occasionally a little fermentation can help. However, for seeds such as hawthorn, holly and rowan, fermentation can be significantly harmful or even fatal and is therefore to be avoided. Subsequently, most seeds will need repeated washing not only to remove the clinging remnants of sticky flesh, but also as a means of removing chemicals that have the potential to inhibit germination.
Germination-inhibiting chemicals? Oh no! (At least rowan seeds, like birch seeds, are “orthodox” so can be dried and frozen for storage. My berries experienced the same storage conditions as my birch seeds.) Anyway, once your rowan seeds are nice and clean with no tarrying trace of berry, they can enter pretreatment hell. The guide describes pretreatment as “Only partially effective: even with the longest pretreatment durations and/or several pretreatment cycles”! Still, it recommends 2-4 warm (about 15°C) weeks and 16-30 cold (about 4°C) weeks of pretreatment. Awesome.
* * * * *
Raising trees and shrubs from seed is a great little guide. It provides a host of advice on collecting, preparing, storing and planting seed. You can download it free from here: http://www.forestry.gov.uk/pdf/fcpg018.pdf/$FILE/fcpg018.pdf
Posted on March 11, 2009 by Ash
Day 0 (Set C).
One hundred and one weeks since the planting of Set A and fifty-one weeks since the planting of failed Set B, I planted treeblog’s Set C today in a private garden ceremony. This latest set is represented by three species: rowan (Sorbus aucuparia L.), sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.), and birch (either silver (Betula pendula Roth) or downy (Betula pubescens Ehrh.)). Whereas a single tree provided me with all my chestnuts, and another with all my birch seeds, my rowan berries were collected from two different trees.
Another (more aesthetically pleasing) view of those chestnuts.
The planting process was straightforward. I half-filled four seed trays with compost. Into one tray went all the birch seeds, into another went the Whitwell Moor rowan berries, into the third went half of the sweet chestnuts, and into the fourth went the rest of the chestnuts and the Upper Midhope rowan berries. All nicely spaced out likes. Then a light covering of more compost and a good watering.
Posted on September 26, 2008 by Ash
There’s been a small voice in the back of my head lately and it’s been telling me to go and get the berries and seeds I need for treeblog’s Set C. So today I went on a wander to see what I could do about it. I’m going to be planting three species of tree for Set C: downy birch (Betula pubescens), rowan (Sorbus aucuparia), and sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa).
I already have some rowan berries from the fallen rowan that I collected on the 15th of August, six weeks ago to the day. It’s a good job I collected those when I did because the last time I saw the fallen rowan, just over a week ago, there wasn’t a single berry left on it. But there was another rowan I wanted berries from – the one in the photo above - and I’ve paid it a visit today. Its berries were very ripe and quite a lot had been shed. I gathered up a fair few, some from the ground and some still on the tree.
My next port of call was this big old downy birch (probably - it might be a silver birch), only a short walk from the rowan. Whilst not a very tall tree, its short trunk has an impressive girth to about one metre from the floor, where it splits into numerous spreading branches. The approach to this tree is a little bit special. You have to squeeze down a narrow cow-made path through a cluster of young birches and pines, which happen to frame this picturesque tree as it squats in its own little clearing on the edge of open moorland. When I arrived, seeds were collected. Hundreds of them.
There were a lot of these pearl-studded puffballs (Lycoperdon perlatum) under the big birch. I saw plenty of these looking well past their best at the end of February down in Thetford Forest when I was collecting data from a silver birch provenance trial. My guess is that this species of puffball is associated with birch, perhaps in a mycorrhizal role.
Posted on August 17, 2008 by Ash
It was a nice day on Friday, so I went for a walk around Langsett. I’ve been fancying growing some rowans for treeblog’s Set C (coming 2009), and it just so happened that my route took me past a couple of my favourites. The berries on the first rowan weren’t quite ripe, so I’ll have to go back in a week or so. The second rowan is a tree with plenty of character. Situated at the edge of a country lane a stone’s throw away from the pretty hamlet of Upper Midhope, half of the tree is a bleached silver skeleton. The other half of the tree, which forks in two about a metre from the ground, is also mostly dead but retains enough greenery to keep ticking over. It’s a beautiful tree, as you can see yourself from the photos below, which I took one fine day in the 2006 heatwave – August 24th.
Until two days ago, I don’t think I’ve been past this rowan in the two years since I took those photos. Nevertheless, I had this charismatic tree in mind when I set off on my walk and it was my purpose to collect some of its berries for treeblog’s Set C. Imagine my dismay as I crested a ridge and couldn’t see the tree in its usual place. As I got closer, I found out why.
What a shame! I don’t know if it was blown down in a storm, or whether it just collapsed – the base was pretty rotten (see the final photograph). The tree is still alive and its usual canopy is alive and well, complete with several clusters of berries. I guess the tree must have come down this year, judging by the angle of this year’s growth. What I don’t know is how long it has been this way. If it only came down recently – and we had some pretty nasty weather a week or so ago – the foliage may still look healthy even though the tree has no chance of surviving the coming months. Yet I hope that there is still enough vascular tissue connecting the roots to the now-horizontal upper parts for this rowan to continue to live for years to come. I also hope no farmer comes along and clears it away.
[Update (14 February 2009): The rowan is still in situ and it is still alive!]
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