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Beginners guide to trees :: Wildlife UK Forum - Discuss the UK countryside and wildlife

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Beginners guide to trees
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Jamie
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Post: #16
RE: Beginners guide to trees

I planted some pine cone seeds about 5 months ago, and they are about 8" big now! Icon_smile


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08-03-2009 05:41 PM
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Dave Perry
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Post: #17
RE: Beginners guide to trees

So what is so important about bio-diversity?

The countryside - and woodlands - have been modified as you state by man. This has been going on for a few thousand years. Almost every last inch of this country has been modified by us in some way. And now we preserve habits as natural which are in effect artificial. Moorlands and heaths are good examples, both the result of continuous overgrazing and consequent leaching of nutrients from the soil. And as you say oak pasture is certainly not natural.
Woodlands too have been altered to such an extent that it is difficult to decide what a natural wood actually looked like unless you travel to North America, Canada or remote parts of Northern Europe. Left to their own devices many woodlands would end up having a continuous canopy cover with the odd gap here and there as some trees reach the end of their life. That's natural. I've seen woodlands 'managed' or 'improved' for Bio diversity by having been thinned and underplanted. In one case the thinning allowed a fairly dense undergrowth to flourish and destroyed a large area of bluebells. Not very natural that.
The problem is we now decide what is 'natural' -and not nature. Our conservation interventions are not natural.


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08-03-2009 08:01 PM
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airbagbaby
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Post: #18
RE: Beginners guide to trees

It's such a good point you make about 'conservation'. Deciding to spent time and money attempting to keep a habitat in aspic can not make sense in the long term. A bit King Canute-like really.

The tree thinning strategy would be ok if grazing could be re-introduced but the example of the resurgent undergrowth is typical of a well-intentioned idea not follwed through. Pointless and destructive as you rightly say.

I am reminded of Toys Hill woodland after devastation of the 1987 storm and how they (the management) selected areas to clear themselves and replant as well as selecting another section to regenerate on its own.

Time passed and Nature did what it does best and that part of the woodland that was designated 'non intervention' faired tons better than the other areas. The Beeb featured this sometime back...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7045944.stm

How beautiful that the most green, cheapest, zero-man hours option worked the best.




Dave Perry Wrote:
So what is so important about bio-diversity?

The countryside - and woodlands - have been modified as you state by man. This has been going on for a few thousand years. Almost every last inch of this country has been modified by us in some way. And now we preserve habits as natural which are in effect artificial. Moorlands and heaths are good examples, both the result of continuous overgrazing and consequent leaching of nutrients from the soil. And as you say oak pasture is certainly not natural.
Woodlands too have been altered to such an extent that it is difficult to decide what a natural wood actually looked like unless you travel to North America, Canada or remote parts of Northern Europe. Left to their own devices many woodlands would end up having a continuous canopy cover with the odd gap here and there as some trees reach the end of their life. That's natural. I've seen woodlands 'managed' or 'improved' for Bio diversity by having been thinned and underplanted. In one case the thinning allowed a fairly dense undergrowth to flourish and destroyed a large area of bluebells. Not very natural that.
The problem is we now decide what is 'natural' -and not nature. Our conservation interventions are not natural.


"We did not weave the Web of Life; we are merely a strand in it.”
Chief Seattle, Suguamish Tribe, 1854
09-03-2009 12:10 AM
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airbagbaby
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Post: #19
RE: Beginners guide to trees

Congrats on your pine seedlings, btw !




Jamie Wrote:
I planted some pine cone seeds about 5 months ago, and they are about 8" big now! Icon_smile


"We did not weave the Web of Life; we are merely a strand in it.”
Chief Seattle, Suguamish Tribe, 1854
09-03-2009 12:11 AM
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barefoot doc
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Post: #20
RE: Beginners guide to trees

I've a tree-ID question...

Right now street trees near me in Brighton are shedding what I think are seeds. Papery wrinkled greenish-white oval flakes 1-2cm diameter, with a central rib and a slight tea-coloured

protrusion (the seed?) in the centre. They float on the wind and make drifts like snow on the pavements.

I think they're from the same trees that showed a beautiful red bud-haze about three weeks ago, before they came into leaf. These trees are as high as a four-storey house.

What's this seed likely to be? I'm guessing elm or lime.

Going by the tree, the branches don't have any noticeable droop; in fact they're pretty robust and upright. So I'm guessing lime.

Thanks.

06-05-2009 04:48 PM
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barefoot doc
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Post: #21
RE: Beginners guide to trees

Actually they CAN'T be seeds can they, at this time of year! oops.

What would they be then - flower bracts? I can see the trees covered with dense clusters of these browny papery things. Sadly I can't see the leaf shape clearly and they're too tall to get near a branch. The best I can say is that they're in the hazel/elm/lime family of leaf-shape.

06-05-2009 05:07 PM
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cumberland wildhog
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Post: #22
RE: Beginners guide to trees

i know that sycamores make a mess at this time of year
but i dont think its them you are on about

06-05-2009 05:37 PM
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barefoot doc
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Post: #23
RE: Beginners guide to trees

cumberland wildhog Wrote:
i know that sycamores make a mess at this time of year
but i dont think its them you are on about


That's right. The sycamores have just come into leaf, a couple of weeks later than the ones I'm on about. The sycamore flowers are hanging like discrete bunches of green grapes, whereas the ones I'm interested in have got dense clusters of these papery tea-coloured things along entire sections of the branches (in the middle of the branch, not right to the end); its these that the papery 'seeds' are flying off from.

06-05-2009 08:05 PM
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barefoot doc
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Post: #24
RE: Beginners guide to trees

OK, I have the answer. They're from elm trees. And they ARE seeds. Apparently very few of them will be viable, which is why the elm produces such huge amounts of seed (as I said, piling up in drifts on the pavements).

08-05-2009 04:15 PM
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ronl
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Post: #25
RE: Beginners guide to trees

I don't recognise those leaves as being silver birch. Is it an import or perhaps a foriegn oak species?

Ron.

12-06-2010 03:47 PM
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moojoose
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Post: #26
RE: Beginners guide to trees

Hi

Im not sure if this is the right pace to post this, but hey here goes Icon_wink

I am trying to identify this tree by its leaves. The trees are quite abundant and can be seen on the side of roads, maintaned grassland and also some private National trust Land.
I think it is a red oak, but i cannot seem to find any acorns. Any help would be appreciated. Please look at the pic on the link (the 20p is just to help size up the leaf)

Tree leaf image

Thanks
Andy

20-10-2010 03:48 PM
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Dave Perry
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Post: #27
RE: Beginners guide to trees

Looks like red or black oak to me. These trees produce rather small acorns and they may not produce acorns until quite old anyway (I'm not too sure but I've seen quite a few myself without having ever seen acorns on them anyway)


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20-10-2010 06:25 PM
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Dave(llanarius)
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Post: #28
RE: Beginners guide to trees

Hi,

You need to be quite careful with this kind of thing; whilst I think it's great that you want to get people interested in tree ID, I think it's perhaps more dangerous to provide people with information that is inaccurate than it is to direct them to a good field guide (The Collins Tree Guide is very good, as is Roger Phillips' Trees in Britain Europe and North America).

Best,

Dave.

01-03-2011 01:18 AM
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Dave Perry
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Post: #29
RE: Beginners guide to trees

I think not!!

People often post questions because they cannot find an answer anywhere else. Even guides such as the two you mention - and I own both and more - are difficult to use to identify obscure trees unless you are already familiar with many trees already. And not every guide will cover things such as seed production under different conditons, age at which seeds are produced and so on.
So, answering a question directly is simply answering a question and to do so otherwise isn't helpful in my view.


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03-03-2011 03:18 PM
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