Documenting the seasons of coastal Dorset. I'm a complete amateur so don't trust I'm always right. If ever you see I'm wrong - whether with identifications or in anything else - do say!

Sunday, 16 February 2014

A BIT MORE ABOUT WHAT I THINK IS A HOLM OAK

Cup with stem, cup without steam and little shriveled mulberry type thing.
In the last post, I talked about Tree Following and how I might follow a Holm Oak this year. I think it's a Holm Oak. But I think it's a Holm Oak because someone told me it is. Then someone told me it might not be because it doesn't look quite like other Holm Oaks on the South Coast of England.

Well. I don't know! One of the great pleasures I have in blogging is that, starting off as an ignoramus, I learn as I go along. So . . . I went back to the tree and took a few supplementary pictures so I could show it in closer detail. Maybe you can tell me - is this a Holm Oak or is it something else?

Glossy green leaves - growing densely together.

The leaves aren't the 'traditional' oak shape - the kind the National Trust uses for its emblem. But that isn't the point.

It has seeds in cups. I thought I remembered them being acorns but, when I searched around under the tree yesterday I found cups but no acorns. That is no surprise. There are squirrels and rats round here. (Do rats eat acorns?)
Little something - like a tiny shriveled mulberry - found under tree.
But I also found little somethings - a bit more than a centimeter across - which look like dried out and shrunken mulberries. And I tried one - it fits neatly in one of the cups. Can I be miss-remembering? Does the tree produce these thingies instead of acorns?

Here is one of the joys of Tree Following. If I choose this tree this year - come autumn and I'll know.

Clambering down the bank, I found the bark on the trunks is interesting and varied.

Rough bark on one of the trunks.

Some parts are rough.

Smooth bark on one of the trunks.

Some are smooth . . . with what looks like ancient art!

What do you reckon?

There's a new Linky Box for Tree Following at the end of this post. If you put your name in the last one it, and your blog, and your tree if you know it - will be in the list on the Tree Following Page. But, if you want to, you can put it in this box too. Once we get going properly we'll have to be strict about putting tree-following posts in the box rather than our blogs. But this is still the signing up, getting to know each other stage.  (I'll cut the ribbon at the beginning of March and say ready-steady-go . . . even though some of us will have started already. This is all very informal!)


Hollis at In the Company of Plants and Rocks has posted about the Cottonwood tree she'll be following.

(The current linky box is with the post for February 21st.)

9 comments:

ADRIAN said...

Well Lucy it's a tree and it has acorns. It's evergreen and has leaves like a Holly.
My guess is that it is a Holm Oak.
The pattern on the bark looks as if it was made by Ivy. Ivy the plant not Ivy who works in the butchers.

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Hi Adrian. Glad you agree about the ID. Part of the doubt has arisen because it has multiple trunks. I think this may be because people are used to seeing well kept trees which have been grown to have single trunks rather than free-spirited ones which have grown in the wild. It's the multiplicity of trunks which, I think, gives this one its grace. The leaves are so dense its top can be a bit clumpy.

Foxglove Lane Studio said...

But what an artist that Ivy has been! I wish I knew half of what you know Lucy, I am essentially very superficial when it comes to plants and animals......thank you for following your curiousity!! Such beautiful little cups....must keep an eye out for them. And many thanks for your lovely comment on my blog. x

Down by the sea said...

We will have to look out for this next time we are walking close to you. The first time we ever heard about Holm oaks was when J visited an old man at Lodmoor Hill who gave him a cutting. There is a Holm oak in Fulham Palace that has many trunks.
I will try to join in with the tree following. Last year it clashed with J being in hospital and then his recovery. Sarah x

Janet/Plantaliscious said...

Hi Lucy, how very intriguing, those little eggcup type things are lovely, far too pretty for those gnarly little "fruit"! I have picked a tree, and briefly introduced it in my most recent blog post, so I added a link to that in the Linky box, hope that's OK. I'll do a proper introduction as soon as there is a good enough day to take its portrait! I managed to forget today, to busy gardening in the unexpected warmth and sunshine...

Dartford Warbler said...

It does look like a holm oak.
Could your tree have been pollarded way back in its youth? That could lead to multiple trunks. A lot of very old New Forest beeches were pollarded in past centuries and have multiple trunks growing in all sorts of interesting angles.

Jane Scunthorpe said...

Hi Lucy, I'd always wondered what a Holm oak looked like, as they are woven into so much myth and folklore. Thanks for that.

I have joined up to your 'tree' Linky and will be following my Prunus Serrula , so waiting for the starting gun! Great idea and thanks to Janet for the heads up!

Stewart M said...

I think I may do this - I can recommend The Tree in Changing Light for all tree lovers.

Most of our native trees do not shed their leaves in autumn - so the changes here are a bit less dramatic than back in the UK.

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Rosie Nixon said...

That tree bark really does look like a cave drawing. We've no Holm Oaks in my locality.