I can’t blame the copper beech entirely as I have two other beech trees in the garden, but my garden is covered in beech saplings. They are coming up through the grass, the paving stones, the flower beds – in fact anywhere that the beech nuts got to last Autumn.
I blame the squirrel – he was far too busy pinching the birds’ peanuts to bother gathering the nuts he is supposed to eat. Then again maybe he did all the burying of the nuts in the first place so they didn’t get raked up off the lawn. Thankfully it isn’t really a problem as the first lawn cut will sort the lawn out and the rest will come out with the general weeding. I do sometimes miss some though and find little trees growing in the strangest of places.
Luckily I have a friend who takes them to a piece of land where she rescues abandoned trees.
Notice how the young beech trees don’t drop their leaves in winter. This also happens if a tree is kept clipped and that is why beech trees are so useful for hedging. The scientific name for this process is marcescence.
It is thought that the reason this occurs is to prevent young trees having their bark stripped by deer and other animals. Dead, dry leaves would make the twigs and buds less nutritious and palatable.
(Good old Wikopedia!)
Anyway I digress from the larger Copper Beech.
I first though that there had been no change whatsoever from last month, but on closer inspection I think the buds have in fact got a little fatter. They were looking lovely today sparkling in the sunlight.
I am a bit concerned though as I have just discovered that beech trees have a very shallow root system. Next door has recently built a large dog kennel/workshop at the bottom of their garden but quite close to the copper beech tree. I did ensure that they weren’t going to be digging foundations that would damage the roots, but I am now wondering whether the tree will get enough water with quite a bit of its root system covered in concrete. I believe beech trees can suffer badly from lack of water. Thankfully though lack of water is rarely a problem up here so hopefully it will be OK.
Around the base of the tree the wild bluebells are in full leaf, but no flowers yet. An unidentified shrub, which is very useful for flower arranging, has also come into leaf.
And, of course, there are still more saplings. . .
Thanks to Lucy at LooseAndLeafy for hosting this great meme – there are lots of other ‘tree followers’ listed on her site.