**133/G-Tree Talk-Plane.

Plane-courtesy Wikipedia.

The two main species of  Plane are the oriental Plane from southern Europe & the occidental Plane from North America.  There are not many  points of difference between them.  They are both large trees  with a single  straight trunk &  spreading angular branches.  The smooth grey bark is continually  scaling off in large patches during the winter, revealing fresh pale bark underneath.  The leaves are large  & palmate  ( shaped like a hand with five lobes or fingers ). The flowers are of distinct sexes, booth growing on the same tree..  Neither kind has petals, but  are both in the form of round balls which hang in strings of two or three on a long stem.  The balls of female flowers, which later contain the seeds , remain hanging on the tree all the winter.  The Plane  retains its foliage till late in the year & assumes autumnal tints of brown & gold.  The Planes  that abound in the streets & squares of London are a variety called maple-leaved plane, said to be a cross between the two first-named species.

**133/F-Tree Talk-Scots PINE.

Scots Pine courtesy Wikipedia.

This is are only native pine & is found growing all over   the country in  sandy soils, moors & rocky highlands.  It has a tall straight trunk with  a  reddish bark.  The lower branches tend to fall   & the upper branches straggle , giving the tree a flat- topped appearance.  The foliage is grouped at the ends of the branches in flat plates.  The needles are roughly about two inches long, sheathed in pairs & are a dark bluish green.

**133/E-Tree Talk-Oak.

Oak-courtesy Wikipedia.

Pride of place among British indigenous trees must certainly be given to the Oak.  Its roots are deeply buried in our history, it is one of the few native trees of this island of ours.  Among the early inhabitants of Britain the Oak was always the object of special veneration & druidical  religious rites & primitive courts of justice used to be held under its branches.  Later , the Oak acquired great importance for the construction of ships.  The”wooden walls of  England”  or ” hearts of oak”, as they have been called, were all made from the tough timber of this tree the angular branches of which  were conveniently shaped for the frames of wooden ships.  The Oak is a magnificent , sturdy tree,, develops  a huge strong  trunk, firmly rooted in the ground & massive spreading  limbs.  It is long lived  have some for over a 1,000 years. 
 The long leaves, cut into  rounded lobes are too well known to need further description.   The flowers are of separate sexes & both kinds grow on  the  same tree.  The male flowers are little balls  of  yellow stamens arranged along  hanging stems.  The female flowers are tiny green ovoids in scaly cups & later turn into the well known acorns. A favourite  food of squirrels & pigs.

**133/D-Tree Talk-Maple.


Sycamore Maple-courtesy Wikipedia.     

Although widespread & thoroughly domiciled in England,  it is not a native tree, but was introduced some centuries ago from Europe.  In their ignorance our ancestors imagined  the great Maple  to be this fig tree because of a fancied similarity between the leaves.  It grows to a large size with a spreading rounded crown.  The bark is light grey,  smooth in young trees, but later scaling off in rounded flakes.






133/C-Tree Talk-Lime.

Lime-courtesy Wikipedia.

There are  three kinds of Lime to be met with in England-the small leaved Lime, the broad leaved Lime the common Lime.The last most commonly  found  & has been planted in avenues in country estates & in the roads of towns.  In order to keep them from overshadowing the houses the limes lining the streets are always severely pollarded.  In open situations  the tree grows to great height with a tall straight stem  & straggly angular branches.  The bark is smooth grey-green in young trees    & slightly fissured in old  trees, though never very rough.  The flowers grow three or more together at the end of a long green stem.   The flowers have five  narrow yellow petals & a large number of golden-headed stamens.  They have a very sweet scent & render the air fragrant for many yards around. The bees swarm  around them.  The leaves being heart shaped with a sharp point & toothed margins.  The foliage is dense & completely covers the tree in summer.

**133/A-Tree Talk-Hornbeam.

Hornbeam-courtesy Wikipedia.

A little known tree although it is quite common in many parts of the Country & they are closely.  Epping Forest & many  other  woods north of London for example , very largely composed of Hornbeams.   Many people mistake the tree for an elm because of its leaves, or  for a beech because of its smooth grey bark, yet it can be very easily distinguished.  Its buds in winter are only about half the size of the beech & they are closely pressed to the twigs, whereas the beech buds stick out from the twig at a wide angle.  The main trunk , with its smooth grey bark is usually short, dividing into a large n umber of upward spreading branches.  Instead of being of irregular shape, often fluted. The flowers are of two kinds, both growing on the same tree.  The male flowers are in the form of pendulous yellow & green catkins, while the female flowers are like small green tassels.  The fruits are small  hard nuts, about the size of a pea to which are attached three-fingered green  bracts.  In the Autumn the leaves turn brown &,  as with the Oak & the Beech, the dead leaves often remain on young trees all through the winter.

**133/B-Tree Talk-Larch.

Larch-courtesy Wikipedia.

This is a very graceful conifer with long drooping sprays of foliage.  It has the peculiarity of being the only conifer to shed its leaves  each year & in the winter it looks very dead & dreary.  In the spring, however, it sends  out little tufts of the freshest pale green leaves which are in needle form.  Its flowers are distinctive.  The male flowers are inconspicuous little buttons containing packed bunches of yellow stamens, while the female flowers are very pretty  fleshy pinks ovoids like small fruits.  These change to green as they swell up & become woody & ripe the same autumn.

**132/9-Tree Talk-Spruce Fir.

Spruce Fir-courtesy Wikipedia.

This is the well-known “Christmas Tree ” , probably regrets  the lack of good  old-fashioned  Christmas weather ,  because it likes cold & snow – the temperate climate of England  does not suit it very well.  Its
evergreen leaves are short & flat, arranged in a close spiral  along the twigs.  The male flowers are small ‘pinky’ ovoids which droop & turn yellow as they ripen.  The female flowers are in erect tufts of green scales, slightly tinged with pink.  The cones are up to six inches long with flat smooth scales, & they always droop from the branches.

**132/8-Tree Talk-Elm Tree.

Elm Tree-courtesy Wikipedia.

The Elm is found all over England, probably our  most common tree,yet it is doubtful whether it is a native, as the Common Elm will not reproduce from seed in our climate.  They flower early & produce  & produce their seeds before any 
leaves appear.  Little bunches of narrow bell-shaped flowers, purple tipped & with purple stamens, break  from the  buds in February or March & a ruddy glow gradually steals over the tree.  The flowers turn into rounded green envelopes notched at the tip, each containing a seed.  There are two  main varieties of this tree in our Country the Common Elm & the Wych Elm. They flourish in almost any soil.  Growing quickest in any light loam.  The Common Elm is a tall upright tree, usually  with one straight  main  trunk, sometimes dividing into two. Elms are not very long -lived trees; common elms are subject an internal decay which  rots away the wood inside  without any outward indication.

NB. Currently a serious disease is destroying Elms in Europe & our Country too.  Years ago the Elms in The Avenue had to be replaced ( thanks to voluntary societies efforts ).

**132/7-Tree Talk-Elder.

This is usually found as a hedgerow shrub, it occasionally grows as a small tree.  Its leaves compound   with two or three pairs of toothed leaflets & a terminal leaflet. The leaves are arranged in opposite pairs on the twigs.  This shrub is the earliest to open out in the spring, its ragged-looking buds are green in January or February.  It produces large flat bunches of tiny white flowers with five petals, these succeeded by small black berries.  Used for concocting a home-made wine.  In the Autumn the leaves turn yellow tinged with red.  The twigs are pale & rough & hollow, containing a white pith.  Country boys find them useful for making the useful for making   “penny whistles”.