Until July 2017, 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! Meanwhile . . . I've now moved to Halifax in West Yorkshire. Click on the link below to collect the new URL. Don't forget to follow there!

Wednesday, 6 August 2014


Across the road from the tree I'm following there's a diminishing number of similar ones. One by one they are being felled. It's been going on for a while and I thought I knew which would be the next to go. Its needles are brown on the tree.

I was wrong. Another has gone. Given that all the the trees in the group are a bit tatty it's clear they will all be cut down in the end. But the latest to vanish seemed the healthiest of the lot. I've photographed it more than the others. I'd thought it would outlast the one I'm following.

You know the resin that weeps in golden droplets from the trunk and collects in lumps and hardens and solidifies white and brown - like an unsightly lava flow that's been brought to a cold stop? I've found out what it does to the inside of the tree.

Here is the edge of the stump of the recently chopped tree - a tree of the same kind as the one we're following. On the right is the remains of an ivy which was almost part of the tree. It's about three inches across. On the left is the red wood of the felled tree. In between . . . grey and white. This seems to be an internal collection of resin. It's hard. If you came across it away from the tree you might, at first, think the white is some kind of quartz. Maybe this internal bleeding and setting is what's killing the trees? The work of the bark is being interrupted. Does anyone know?

Back to the individual we are following. Needles are collecting in the fork of the trunk.

A cone has fallen to ground and broken open.

The grass has been cut. The plants which grew in it have gone. We've had little rain. There was an outburst for a couple of hours a few days ago but it's done little or nothing to dampen the ground under the tree.

Its exposed root stays bare.

What a brown post!

One little bramble is all that grows.

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Lyn said...

Oh dear it always makes me sad when a tree gets cut down, I hate the sound of the chainsaw.
I think a lot of trees are turning because of the dry weather we have had here in the UK.
I will be going up to see my tree tomorrow. Xxx

Amanda Peters said...

Maybe I didn't notice before but many of the trees at the park have not been at their best this year, especially the Oak , Field Maple and Lime trees ,they are riddled with leaf rust and Galls. None have been cut down so far, so perhaps it's good in a way that some one is taking care of your trees, we have had quite a bit of rain over the last week, fruiting plants realy need it.
Amanda xx

Alison Levey said...

We have had quite a hot dry July and it seems to have affected some of my trees quite badly. It feels a little like Autumn is approaching already in places. The flash of green bramble is rather wonderful.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Lyn, Amanda and Alison. I think these trees have been slowly on their way out for a while now. Even without the lack of rain I think they would be on their last legs. I guess the strong winds we had in winter will have unsettled the roots of many trees round here too.

The council is planting what I consider to be horrid little trees to replace them. They have long floppy needles, are quite close together and (in my opinion) too near the edge of the road and will keep light from the houses on the other side.

Anonymous said...

not much green here Lucy. Sad to see the trees die - is it their time or some problem? Love the cones of this species - are you going to try and grow one from the seeds?

Caroline Gill said...

Oh, Lucy, how sad that the trees are being felled in your area. Thank you for your fascinating thoughts on the resin, a substance that has long intrigued me. It takes me back to the heady smell of stringed instruments, to warm pine forests near the Med, to music and laughter. But until your post I had not associated resin with decay. It would be really interesting to discover more ... I wonder what makes it set hard: would it be temperature? Great photos, too.

Janet/Plantaliscious said...

That photo of the resin is extraordinary Lucy! And the split apart cone is rather eerie too. All that brown, very different to round here, everything still seems to be looking green, perhaps because we have more rainfall, and on the cliffs the bracken, heather and gorse are creating bright tapestries of colour all over the place.

Anonymous said...

As always an interesting, and informative post, and wonderful photos.
It's always sad to see trees felled, for whatever reason. Flighty xx

Donna said...

Sorry to hear about the trees and especially the one you are following. It is sad when they are doomed much like my ash trees eventually will be if the emerald ash borer gets to them. Mine is still going strong for now.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about the tree felling, but interesting to see that slice of resin.
And the half-cone is amazingly beautiful, both colour and the shape, which reminds me a bit of a trilobite...
Thanks again for this great tree following project.
All the best :)

Anonymous said...

Lovely post - how sad about the felling, but sometimes it's inevitable. Fascinating about the resin - wonder if anybody will come up with an answer?