Friday April 3rd
Some more examples of trees bursting into life and confirming spring is here!
Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) is coming into leaf, common in hedges and woodland and also known as quickthorn or may as it flowers around mid May. A plant that also produces red berries or “haws” which are a valuable source of winter food for thrushes, redwings and fieldfares.
Young Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) is sprouting in advance of it’s neighbouring Beech (Fagus sylvatica) as they are often found together in the same wood. A tree producing hard and dense wood and prized by furniture makers. Bakers also loved it as burns hot and also produces great charcoal.
The younger saplings probably come into leaf earlier than the more mature trees as they are more sheltered nearer ground level.
Also came across a young Crab apple (Malus sylvestris) whose leaves were developing but not really filled out yet amongst the thorns on the stems.
Birch (Betula pendula) are also starting to sprout leaves now and I always thought they were near the first but in fact they are one of many!
Finally, at ground level bracken (Pteridium aquilinum) is already emerging as fronds from their underground rhizomes and the bluebells are coming on well.
I expect we’ll really notice the refreshing green of new leaves after this weekend and the forecast warm weather.
Keep a look-out, enjoy and stay safe.