Thursday, 12 July 2012

If you go down to the woods today....

Take a look at the leaves on the trees around you. At this time of year the leaves are in their best condition and you'll be able to spot many more tree species than you thought you had in your local woodland. Okay, so this is not exactly a flower-pollination related blog, but upon visiting a local woodland nature reserve in Reading yesterday just before the afternoon's thunderstorms hit, we were struck by the variety of trees that we were effectively ignoring, instead paying attention to the flowering brambles and occasional hoverfly daring to approach the blooms. We found hazel and lime next to each other – allowing us the opportunity to examine the differences between the two species' leaves. Lime leaves are far more papery and smooth whilst hazels have much more deeply serrated edges. 

The photos below show a selection of what we found with the species being field maple (Acer campestre), elm (Ulmus sp.), alder (Alnus sp.; on the top row) and lime (or “linden”, Tilia sp.), hazel (Corylus avellana) and beech (Fagus sylvatica; on the bottom row). 

 We also found rowan (or mountain ash; Sorbus aucuparia), ash (Fraxinus excelsior), and elder (Sambucus nigra), shown below.

 Go down to your local woodland and read the leaves in a dry spell this summer!

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