Sunday, May 03, 2020

Wild service tree arrives at The Green Sanctuary

I was recently astonished to discover what appears to be a wild service tree (Sorbus torminalis) seedling not a metre from where I usually sit to study the Square Metre and its surrounds. It is in the area I call 'The Waste' about half a metre south of the actual square.  It is remarkable because the wild service is a tree I have been studying in detail since 1974 and on many occasions I have said that it does not readily regenerate from seed in the wild.  But this one has.  The nearest fruiting tree is outside our house in Churchland Lane about 50 metres away and I suspect this is the probable source of the seed.  The plant also appears to have been cut or grazed off, probably last year, but otherwise seems quite healthy.  It is difficult to believe it is not drawing attention to itself by growing so close at hand and in a place where it will be well looked after.

Another striking feature during the last week has been the growth of new shoots on the oak cordon.  They are about a month later than the leaves on the untrimmed oak trees in the area and they have a shining coppery brown colour.  In the past they have come into leaf before the ash trees in the project, but this year they are far behind so, according to the old proverbs, that might mean we are in for a wet summer.

The white stripe behind the oak shoot is the trunk of the Emthree birch