Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Brambles crushed by snow

The very heavy snowfalls since the 1 January have deposited a considerable weight of material on trees and bushes.

20100112 Metre snow crushed bramble hedge

In the picture above the snow has crushed the bramble hedge along the south of Emthree, reducing it from chest height to knee height.

No doubt it will bounce back to some extent after the thaw, but it will have to grow up to chest height again and its general configuration will be permanently affected.  Ultimately it should be thickened and strengthened.

Snow, if and when it comes, is an important part of the natural dynamic, not only altering the shape of trees and shrubs but often breaking off branches large and small to provides homes on the ground for invertebrates and fungi, and tears and tree-holes above for the species associated with those.

The cold and snow will also, no doubt, reduce numbers of birds and animals with all sorts of poorly understood knock-on consequences.