I’ve been most remiss in my tree following posts, having missed June and July altogether. At this time of year the hawthorn is largely ignored, I walk around the corner of the house and under its branches to reach the compost bins or on the way to the front garden, usually focused on the task at hand. I rarely give it much thought.
Which I suppose is exactly why I am so glad I picked it for the tree following meme, or I would never have noticed that the berries which replaced the long-gone blossom have started to colour.
One of the branches has healthy growth up to half way, and then is clearly dead, but I don’t want to prune it off as it is covered in lichens, moss and spiders webs. Sorry, I was totally unable to capture the delicate tracery of the webs thanks to the glare of the sun.
When looking at all the small leaf clusters on the main trunk and larger branches I noticed this remnant from bad pruning, looking for all the world like a socket, don’t you think?
At first glance the foliage still looks bright green, at least when seen in summer sunshine against a blue sky.
Closer inspection reveals what I assume is mildew, presumably from stress due to the dry spell. After all, this hawthorn is not exactly growing in idea conditions, crammed up against paving and our house wall on one side, and surrounded by moisture-hungry willows on the other side.
Actually, looking at it again, I don’t think it is mildew – some sort of deficiency perhaps?
The park next door has been getting a bit of a spruce-up. There is a project in progress to create an easier circular path that takes in the park and the neighbouring Community Woodland. Consequently I no longer get muddy feet walking around the other side of our fence to see the hawthorn from the park, and I can get much closer to the hawthorn itself thanks the the undergrowth having been strimmed. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for all that undergrowth to regenerate!
I do like being able to get a good photograph of the hawthorn from the park, it has a rather pleasing shape, and it suggests that even my hawthorn has been somewhat sculpted by the wind – the beach, sea and northerlies are to the left as you look at this photo:
Mind you, it is nothing like as extreme as we see on the hawthorns growing up on the cliffs near here.
You may remember a certain amount of earnest discussion as to whether the ivy that grows up my hawthorn is something I should be getting rid of in case it damages the tree. The base is still clothed in ivy, but if you look further up, you can now see dead stems and leaves.
Not my doing! Our neighbour was delighted when we pruned various shrubs to give him back a glimpse of the sea from the step down in to his kitchen. We were delighted to do this for him, he lost his wife last year, and this small glint of sea, visible again after many years, thrilled him. He later asked for permission to trim off a couple of bits of hawthorn that were still getting a little in the way, and we gave it. It turns out that he is of the “ivy is evil” brigade, and thought he was doing us a huge favour by also cutting through the ivy growing up the main trunk! Ah well, it will be intriguing to see how long it takes for the ivy to reclaim that space, though in the mean time the dead foliage is rather unattractive, and too high to get at easily to remove. Besides, I assume that all manner of interesting bugs and microbes are having a ball up there in the middle of the decay, so I will leave them to it!
Do pop over to Lucy’s blog and read about other trees, all kinds of trees, from all over the world. Better yet, join in! It is a fascinating meme, and I love the way it has made me look much closer at an easily overlooked and “common” tree in my garden.