This veteran Horse Chestnut tree stands in the meadows to the south of The Vyne National Trust house and gardens in Bramley, Basingstoke, and we pass it regularly on walks around the grounds.
We’ve seen it in all its stages of decline, and have blogged about it (Funky Fungi 2nd April 2015) after we saw the tree in midwinter when it was covered in a spooky, alien fungus (aren’t they all?) known colloquially as Black Witches Butter.
So we were delighted to see it in April 2018, still producing healthy foliage despite its parlous condition. The fight for survival is strong – perhaps this explains in some part why we often have an emotional reaction to trees.
We recognise familiar qualities in the trees around us, and in some ways they are like us. They have a visible life cycle and we can tell when they are old, frail and vulnerable; they appear to communicate with one another via the underground fungal mycorrhizal systems, protecting and sending resources to their weaker, needier neighbours, as a healthy human community might; they do enormous good in processing the dioxide and carbon monoxide we generate – it’s been calculated that one large tree can create a day’s supply of oxygen for four people. And they are often simply there in our lives, sometimes for the whole of our lives, and that helps us to feel a sense of proportion and perspective in the world.
For a free site visit and detailed quote for a tree survey or work to your trees, contact Andrew on 01256 817369, 07771 883061 or email him at Andrew@primarytreesurgeons.co.uk