Friday, 25 April 2014

My Wild Cherry

It was like working in a snow storm in the high winds at the beginning of the week and this was the culprit.

Prunus avium
Sprouting from the hedge at the bottom of the garden this wild cherry stands well over ten metres in height and has been around for at least 40 years. When the high winds blow, as they invariably do at blossom time, the petals fill the air and leave a speckled carpet, not just in the back garden but somehow get over the house and into the front.

I never new its botanical name, always thinking of it as the wild cherry, but fascinatingly the avium bit comes from the seeds being carried by birds, evidence of which is a couple of much smaller specimens nearby.

After the birds have had their fill the mice take theirs, nibbling a meticulous round hole in the top of the stone to get to the contents. They take them to a safe spot to eat as evidenced by a piece of pipe I disturbed whilst cleaning up some rubble near the base of the tree, it was packed with stones all with the signature hole. All in all a very useful tree considering, as a British native, it is seen as a weed by many, just like Ash which was also regarded as a weed until it became threatened by disease and has now somehow become very precious.   



8 comments:

  1. Astute comment about ash that I still regard as a weed when seedlings appear all over the place.
    Storm in a tea cup? I am sure we are not going to lose this tree with its vast genetic diversity coming from seed.

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    1. We don't have many ash trees around where I live at roughly 500' above sea level but go up another 100' or so and onto the lower slopes of the Dark Peak they are everywhere. I don't know whether this is because they have been more or less eradicated because they have been regarded as weeds in the more populated area or it is just to do with the climatic conditions.

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  2. We've a group of self seeded wild cherry over from the house - they are not quite so large and this is the first year I've noticed them full with blossom. I guess I'll be having a similar experience in a week or so!

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  3. I used to work in a commercial orchard which was populated with large trees set in a meadow environment, If it was your turn to get the gang-mowers out for the first cut at this time of the year and if it coincided with a windy day, with no tractor cab, you sometimes could hardly see where you were going. That's my excuse for any collateral damage that was caused!

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  4. We have these wild cherry trees in the woodland next to our house, I have been admiring them. Just love your comment on the Ash, You know what they say, absence (or even the threat of it) makes the heart grow fonder. Now what shall I do with this enormous Lime tree in the front garden only 30ft away from the house. It looks rather majestic, probably too large for the area, but is it a weed?

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    1. If it is a weed you will need more than a few bucketfuls of Glyphosate to get rid of it Alistair:)

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  5. It's interesting that we tend to value only what is rare ! If something is common it can lose its value - as witnessed in Madeira where they employed teams of workers to scythe down the Agapanthus growing by the roadside. It was classed as a weed and was controlled rigorously. My own little pot of Agapanthus, in the UK, has been nurtured and cosseted , as it is very special to me...

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    1. Interesting you should mention this Jane, I read somewhere of a plant species that was only found at one location in the Canaries. Unfortunately the name escapes me at the moment, but it was eradicated to facilitate the building of a new hotel.

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