In my last tree post I was accusing my copper beech of turning my garden into a forest of saplings. In my defence it was an easy mistake to make; in Autumn the whole garden is absolutely covered in beech nut cases so it was easy to assume that the saplings came from the beech nuts inside. However as the saplings grew and developed their first true leaves it became obvious that these were not beech leaves at all. It took me a while to discover which tree the saplings had come from, but eventually we worked it out. I am pretty sure the whole forest of saplings were due to the single elm tree that we share on a garden border with a neighbour. I’ll bet they have the same problem as us. I hadn’t even noticed elm tree seeds – I think I had better follow that tree next time!
I knew we must have beech saplings somewhere as we have a few small trees growing already so the hunt was on. I eventually found one nestling amongst old tulip stalks. The first leaves are a totally different shape to the elm sapling’s. I haven’t actually found a copper beech sapling yet.
The beech tree itself is looking magnificent now its leaves are fully out. Unfortunately the time for the photos of the sun shining through the leaves is over now the leaves have matured. The colour has deepened and the leaves are not so translucent. I did get a few more photos in the middle of May. It is interesting how the leaves that are shaded are much more green than the ones in the sun.
The real difference in the tree is that the flowers have shed covering the garden . . . . and in their place the nuts have started to grow.
The cases are really soft just now, but they will gradually harden as the nuts develop inside. I have never noticed these at this stage before. Here is a picture showing the beech tree with its neighbours. Can you believe when we moved into the house there was another tree between the beech and the silver birch. It was a difficult decision at the time to take out a large tree, but there would never have been room for it and the beech tree would have suffered as a consequence.
The silver birch is in our garden and the tree at the back is a horse chestnut. Thankfully the chestnut was pollarded a few years ago which has kept it smaller. I wouldn’t want anything to put pressure on the beech or birch either. Well I hope my copper beech forgives me for mistaking its offspring – it was a case of not seeing the wood for the trees! Thanks to Lucy at LooseAndLeafy for hosting this great meme – there are lots of other ‘tree followers’ listed on her site.