January’s tasks include identifying these trees. Its useful to have a son who is a tree surgeon, because not only did he help me identify these in Winter but also explained a whole lot of other stuff too. I have been on 2 walks in the area now where I live. Its useful that I have a dog because I go on walks all the time.
Identifying dog rose and briar rose was easy because there are still rose hips about, which helps to distinguish from mature brambles..
Hawthorn, again isn’t too hard to identify because of the thorns on the branches and twigs. In some cases the Hawthorn still has leaves, but that is probably due to the unusually temperate winter that we have had so far.
Lastly, Elder gave me some trouble initially. I kept confusing it with Hazel. I think I’ve got it now. The buds being equal rather than alternative on the new growth is helpful. I can recognise the bark and the messy stumps..also its growing in my garden, so I should be able to get this one. What I particularly like is the warty bark..it feels lovely to run your fingers over. This picture shows a bud in bloom, obviously confused by the weather. Fred tells me that Elder is extremely resistant and that frosts are unlikely to hurt the tree.
Lastly, something I learnt from Fred. “Epicormic growth”, when a tree sends powerful growth hormones to the site of a tree where the bark has sustained injury or been pruned back hard. You can often see this in the lower bark areas of some trees, like this English Oak.