By: Blonde Two
An arboreal Tuesday’s Ten this week, mainly brought on by my searches for a silver birch tree to grace my back garden. Trees give us so many things, fun, food, oxygen… isn’t it about time we all learned a bit more about them. Here are my 10 things you might not know about trees.
- The longest monkey puzzle tree avenue (Araucaria araucana) in the UK was planted in 1844 and has not moved from Bicton College in Devon since then.
- The fruits of a horse chestnut tree (Aesculus hippocastanum)were not the first conkers. Snails and hazelnuts were amongst their predecessors.
- The oldest tree in the UK lives in Scotland and is called the Fortingall Yew (Taxus baccata). It is thought to be between 2,000 and 3,000 years old.
- The Plymouth pear (Pyrus cordata) was first discovered in Plymouth and is one of the UK’s rarest trees. This rarity is, in part, due to its self-imposed protection against inbreeding.
- Oak trees (Quercus rober) do not start producing acorns until they are at least 20 years old. We think this is very sensible.
- The stump of wood left after a tree has been coppiced is called the stool.
- To make charcoal you need a wood that burns slowly such as oak.
- The tallest native tree in Britain measures 44 metres and is a beech (Fagus sylvatica) who may or may not be called ‘Bob’.
- Galloway Forest Park is the UK’s biggest forest with 207 miles square of woodland.
- The Forestry Commission (Commissionus Forestus) is England’s largest landowner and, in 2019, is celebrating its 100th birthday.
My apologies to the Latin plant aficionados amongst you. I think I have the right specific epithet for each tree but am not entirely sure about the Forestry Commission!