On day 122 of 365 Days Wild I decided to spend some time with a couple of the young trees in the meadow.
There have been nearly 100 new trees planted around the nature project, both in the meadow and at the edge of the little woodland, over the last five years, though several have failed to thrive. Some, however, are looking wonderfully healthy and are growing up nicely. As the seasons advance onwards they’re now just starting to change into their autumnal garb – their summer greens fading into yellows, reds and browns.
The first of the trees that caught my eye was one of the little rowans (Sorbus aucuparia). All of its bright red berries have gone now, leaving only the leaves. These sets of 5-8 pairs of serrated leaflets are distinctive, though they do share a number of similarities with both ash and elder. When mature, rowan trees can grow up to 15m in height. This one has quite a long way to go before it gets there.
The other tree that I spent some time with was one of the whitebeams (Sorbus aria).
Like the rowan, whitebeam can reach 15m at full growth, which none of those in the meadow are even close to yet. The meadow will look very different once all of the trees are mature, particularly the western end, close to the little woodland and pond, where more of them have been planted.
The leaves of whitebeam are oval and serrated, which is similar to both hornbeam and beech, but the underside is covered in a pale, felt-like hair. This is very noticeable now that the leaves are changing colour as the undersides remain unchanged.
That’s all for today. Have the leaves started to change colour where you are? I’d love to know. Just leave a comment below.