Trees

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“I think this site is very interesting and is a great thing to do I am sure Don  would be proud” - email from Natalie Bunyan

We have included Don’s notes exactly as he wrote them as reminders for when he was giving slideshows to various bodies. We know that he expanded on these, but we wish to remain true to the original documentation.

Growth rings on Scots pine trees:

  1. It is possible to tell the age of the tree by counting the growth rings.
  2. The reason for this is the difference between the wood formed in the spring and that formed later in the summer.
  3. The wood cells formed in the spring are large as the summer goes by they get smaller.  When the tree passes into winter rest, growth ceases and the tree remains practically dormant until the spring ushers in new growth.
  4. When spring growth resumes you get a sharp difference between spring wood with large cells and wood formed the previous summer.

Sweet Chestnut:

  1. Named the Sweet or Spanish Chestnut
  2. So called to distinguish it from the horse chestnut - a totally different tree.
  3. May have been introduced here by the Romans for the sake of its edible fruit.
  4. The term “chestnut” as meaning a stale joke originated from an old play, the Broken Sword by William Dillon. It is difficult to decide whether the reference was to a horse or sweet chestnut tree.

Sweet Chestnut Tree - Bark:

  1. A very characteristic feature is the spirally twisted bark.
  2. A staple ration for Roman legions was a nutritious flour called “pollenta” made from chestnuts.
  3. This is the reason for crediting the Romans for its introduction from Italy 2,000 years ago.

Holly Bush:

  1. The holly is one of Britain’s few native evergreen trees.
  2. It’s leaves are thick, with waxy surfaces to avoid water losses when the soil is frozen in winter. This explains why holly doesn’t wither when it is hung on walls for Christmas decorations.
  3. It is the only broad-leaved tree with foliage available in winter. Holly could suffer severe harm from deer browsing in winter. It is protected by sharp spines on the lower foliage, although higher up where the deer cannot reach the leaves are often spineless.
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