Last of the Hawthorn

The Hawthorn flowers are just starting to turn here in Nettlebridge.  Its been a good year for the flowers, with trees literally smothered in white flowers,

Hawthorn in full bloom
Hawthorn in full bloom
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Dieback, an unfolding tragedy

Three years ago we heard the first confirmed report of Chalara Ash dieback in a mature tree near Shepton Mallet, and have been monitoring the local woods since.

Two years ago we had yet to see any signs, but last year many Ash (Fraxinus excelsior) trees in the woods started to show the first signs of dieback.

This year it is now very clear that with dead tops of the trees all over.  There are a few Ash not showing any signs yet, so we will continue to watch closely.

This Chalara dieback disease of ash trees caused by a fungus called Hymenoscyphus fraxineus.

 

Green Oak

I really love the new leaves of the Oak (Quercus robur).

Starting with a red tinge they quickly change to a to lovely shiny light lime green.  It may be one of the last trees to get its leaves, but it is well worth the wait.

 

Let sleeping logs lie

Each winter woodland management work is carried out to improve the wildlife habitats and remove the planted timber trees as they mature.  I counted 40 rings on this conifer, which would mean it was planted in 1977.

Ideally the work is completed by March to avoid disturbance to nesting birds.

Unfortunately this year the work carried on well into April, and the timber extraction is still happening in mid May.