05 November 2012

Tree-hunting in Swansea

Tulip-tree with 8.61m basal girth
Like so many good articles in British Wildlife, Steven Falk’s ‘Tree-hunting in Warwickshire’ inspired Sandra and myself to venture out in yesterday’s dreary weather to see what we could find around Swansea. We knew about a large Tulip-tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) in Sketty and with a rough grid-ref it wasn’t difficult to spot. The girth around the base measured 8.61m (5.57m around the main trunk at 1.5m), which must make it one of the largest trees in Swansea. There was also a sizeable, multi-stem Horse-chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) nearby with a basal girth of 4.47m (2.04m at 1.5m along the widest trunk). Not far away were two Dawn Redwoods (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) with 2.5m girths at breast height (gbh – measured 1.5m above ground).
two Dawn Redwoods forming a single crown
We also measured an Ash (Fraxinus excelsior) by the tea (& cake!) shop at Perriswood Archery & Falconry centre that had an impressive 3.54m gbh. How long will we see these graceful trees in our landscape? Are the press just getting carried away, or is this another potential Dutch Elm Disease epidemic in the making? Only time will tell...
Ash at Perriswood
We also had time for a casual look at a few of the veteran trees on the edge of the Penrice estate by Mill Wood, which looked most impressive. One hollow Beech (Fagus sylvatica) had Porcelain Fungus (Oudemansiella mucida) fruiting inside the trunk.
hollow Beech
Porcelain Fungus

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