Tree a Week: Alder

One of the most useful trees in a forest garden context, fertilising the surrounding plants with minimum intervention.

After Two Years of Living in a Van

The biggest change this year was my girlfriend Sally joining me recently on the journey. It required further minimisation, few tweaks to the layout and purchase of a double mattress but we’ve somehow managed to squeeze two people’s belongings in a space designed for one. We’re able to get changed, cook, slide past each other,…

Tree a Week: Chestnut

Characteristics and Fun Facts The chestnuts are a group of eight or nine species of deciduous trees and shrubs in the genusCastanea, and in the beech family Fagaceae. They are native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, the four most commonly known species groups are American, European, Chinese, and Japanese chestnuts. Fully grown chestnuts usually reach heights of 16m – 25m tall, however the size of…

This Week’s Project

We arrived at Liza and Simon’s home in Puivert about three weeks ago and have been busy setting up raised beds, pruning trees, feeding animals, chopping fire wood and building access to a future tree bog location. I have finally given into making videos since it’s far easier to show these projects visually than to…

Tree a Week: Hazel

Characteristics and Interesting Facts The hazel (Corylus) is a genus of deciduous trees and large shrubs native to the temperate Northern Hemisphere with 14–18 species . The genus is usually placed in the birch family Betulaceae, though some botanists split the hazels (with the hornbeams and allied genera) into a separate family Corylaceae. Hazel requires a winter chilling period of 800 – 1200 hrs below 7 C (45…

Tree a Week: Elm

Characteristics and Fun Facts Elms are deciduous and semi-deciduous trees comprising the flowering plant genus Ulmus in the plant family Ulmaceae and grows in variety of climatic conditions. There are about 30 to 40 species of Elm The elm tree originated in what is today’s central Asia spreading over most of the Northern Hemisphere. Most commonly…

Tree a Week: Birch

Interesting Facts Birch is in the genus Betula. The birch family Betulaceae contains six genera of deciduous nut bearing trees including birches, alders, hazels, horn beams and hop-hornbeams. There are about 40 species of small to medium trees and shrubs, in Northern temperate climates Average lifespan of the birch is 40-50 years. In favourable conditions,…

Tree a Week: Beech

Characteristics and Fun Facts Beeches are deciduous trees in the Fagaceae family There are 11 species of beech but two well known ones are the American Beech (Fagus grandifolia) and the European Beech (Fagus sylvatica). They can be found in North America, Europe and Asia Although often regarded as native in southern England, recent evidence has shown that it…

Tree a Week: Oak

Following on from my last post about Patagonia’s Treeline and Wohlleben’s ‘The Hidden Life of Trees’, this will be the first of a series of post on trees. I’ve always wanted to learn more about trees – how to identify them, it’s uses, a little bit of history and characteristics – and now that I…

Treeline

The winner of Mr Shimasaki’s best cinematography and best documentary award (if there was one) goes to Patagonia’s new film about trees. Superbly shot in the mountains of Japan, British Columbia and Nevada, the sensually framed ancient trees, with insights from scientists, other specialists and a shinto priest, gave me the same feeling of wonder…