**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.

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**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”.

**132/6-Tree Talk-Horse Chestnut.

 

Horse Chestnut -courtesy Wikipedia.

An Asiatic tree imported into England centuries ago-thoroughly naturalized here. Its popular name probably due to the fact that its fruits bear some resemblance to real Sweet Chestnuts.   A fine large tree with great spreading branches.  It is found all over the country & does best where the soil is a rich loam.  It can be recognized in winter by its thick brown twigs, each with a large scaly bud at the end.  Other smaller buds on the twigs are arranged in leaves which are among the first to start to decay, as early as August they start to droop & turn a rusty red, & a month later they begin to fall.  Another smaller variety  of  Horse Chestnut has scarlet flowers.

**135-Our City’s- 651- people died in WW2 Blitz.

Their names are not on public view.

An offer to install a set of glass panels in the Art Gallery containing  the names of the individuals who were killed by the German Blitz bombing was not acceptable to City officers; City councillors did not respond to the proposal. ( now withdrawn).

NB.  A new’s  report recently reported that Portsmouth City are  in the process of  installing a similar   commemoration feature for their people who died in similar conditions in WW2.

**132/5-Tree Talk-Sweet Chestnuts.

Sweet Chestnuts.

Very Tasty?

This is the true Chestnut , not to be confused with the Horse Chestnut.  Probably not native to England, although here  for many centuries.  It does not like a very rich soil or stiff clay, & thrives best in a sandy loam. It is a tall upright tree with a stout trunk  &  short horizontal branches.  The bark is furrowed longitudinally,  at its base the furrows usually have a marked twist, as if the whole tree had been twisted round.   The big, pointed leaves grow up to ten inches in length & have  their margins cut into long, sharp teeth.  The flowers are very attractive.  The foliage of the tree turns shades of yellow & brown in the Autumn, remaining on the twigs till well om into thee winter.

 

**132/4-Tree Talk-Cherry.

Cherry.

Cherry courtesy Wikipedia.

This grows to quite a large tree & will do well in poor soils & exposed sites.  It can be recognised by its smooth pale brown bark,  marked by fine horizontal splits.   It  stands  out  in  spring  by  reason  of  its  plentiful  show  of  white blossom.  The leaves are long pointed oval with roughly serrated margins.  They drop down from the twigs.   The fruit soon devoured by the birds, is bitter unpalatable  to our  taste.         The cherries  are  somewhat  smaller than the cultivated variety & are black when ripe.  In Autumn the foliage turns a beautiful crimson.