A partnership between the Woodland Trust and the National Trust

Fingle Spring Diary 2016 no.4

Spring Diary 4 – Trees Make a Move
The downy birch is one of the first trees to move in the spring. As a pioneer tree, its role in the woods is to grow fast and generate huge numbers of seed. The birch tends to come into leaf early and make rapid progress to grow its seed bearing catkins. Every other species of tree has to find a suitable niche where it can survive among all the other trees in the wood. The grand old tree of Fingle Woods is often the oak and the buds are gradually swelling and bursting this week. If you walk the tracks regularly you might notice the oaks standing in sunnier aspects are reacting to the arrival of spring before those that are in partial shade. Trees also find an advantage in emerging in succession. They may be able to take advantage of different climatic conditions or perhaps the arrival of different pollinating insects. What’s next? Look out for the emergence of the beech and the ash.

Downy birch unfurling its leaves

Downy birch unfurling its delicate leaves

Bursting oak buds at Wooston Hillfort

Bursting oak buds at Wooston Hillfort

words – Matt Parkins

images – Paul Moody

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