Dr M was today totally bowled over and utterly charmed by a truly massive Cork Oak (Quercus suber) at Standish Hospital, in Gloucestershire.
Dr M says: So what’s your favourite Cherry blossom? Dr M is particularly fond of the purest white blossoms of the native Prunus spinosus (Blackthorn) but he’s a sucker for most cherry blossom. There’s something about cherry blossom time; first there’s winter, greyness, rain, greyness again, possibly snow and ice and certainly cold! And then somethings says “let there be Prunus” AND THERE IS PRUNUS!
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A classic spring plant is the beautiful May tree, Crataegus monogyna, (also known as Hawthorn of course) by who’s flowering we know the season must be springtime, the only pretty ring time! even, mayhaps, the first signs that Sumer Is Icumen In!?
Dr M is particularly fond of Vancouver and from his past visits there the wonderful trees left a lasting impression, beautiful and diverse in nearby forest and also in town. Dr M was therefore delighted to find this lovely self-guided tree walk of the amazing tree-lined Kitsilano district of Vancouver,
Leaves are turning beautiful shades of yellow, orange, red and brown and are falling from the trees – aided and abetted by the winds, there can be no denying autumn is here!
As regular visitors will know, Dr M is currently teaching British tree identification in his Vegetation Survey and Assessment module on the MSc Plant Diversity and MSc Species Identification and Survey Skills. Amongst the features which help in putting a name to a tree include the twigs, leaves and buds. Buds come in all shapes and sizes and colours, all can be helpful for ID.
Dr M in full flow talking to the trees! (image courtesy of Waheed Arshad). Dr M is currently teaching British tree identification in his Vegetation Survey and Assessment module on the MSc Plant Diversity and MSc Species Identification and Survey Skills. During a recent 2-hour walk in autumnal sunshine, the class collected twigs and leaves from no fewer than 27 genera.
Dr M has already posted on a couple of online aids to tree ID: the SAPS key to trees and shrubs and the Natural History Museum (NHM) urban tree survey key. These two keys are tools to help the beginner ID common species covering around 90 species each.
Why not get out and see some botany this weekend? You know you want to!
There are a growing number of online forums and communities providing free help with plant (and other wildlife) observations and identification. Here Dr M checks out the Natural History Museum’s Nature Plus community.