Be Active - A Winter Walk


Oak trees, which can live to be extremely old (400 plus years), may have a characteristically wide girth as opposed to their height. In this they are quite unusual so you can often spot an old Oak tree from afar.

Winter time is a good time to look at the bark on trees, which on some can be quite colourful. Silver Birch and Ornamental Cherry are very distinctive. Silver Birch has a wonderful white bark, often shiny and with a peeling ‘skin’. The bark will have little spots of dark on it. As Silver Birches get older, you’ll see that these darker spots tend to develop into conspicuous dark patches that form an attractive pattern.


Silver Birch


The Ornamental Cherry can have bark so shiny that it almost looks like polished metal. The bark may be coloured pinkish red to reddish brown, striated (striped) with deep green, or it may be a greyer colour mixed with deep greens, reds or browns. The striping effect can be quite marked and looks very attractive in winter.


Ornamental Cherry


Some bark is very deeply fissured (meaning it has deep grooves and textures) such as Oak,


Oak Bark


while some looks patchy like the Plane tree.


Plane Tree


The bark of fissured trees such as oaks are wonderful for insects, many of which will over-winter in the crevices. In the UK, oak trees support more insects than any other tree and are very important for the ecosystems of forests.


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