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27/03/2014 at 23:41

  Trees.  I wonder. What is your take on the subject.  As a starter for ten.  I truly marvel at them.  What a magnifiscent part of creation.  They keep our air clean, they provide material sources, some produce food for us.  Apart from the majestic stature of trees.  I also find them very therapeutic.  I am being 100% honest here.  At times, I become depressed, and strange to say, at thesame time.  I often realise that Mike.  Calm down.  YOU are not the be all and end all of life/society.  Please give me room.  L:et me wander amongst the tall pines, the might oaks.  Then to me.  It is like looking at myself in a mirror.  These fabulous trees, constantly being buffeted by winds and storms.  Stand up man.  You puny little part of creation.  Look and learn.  Believe me friends.  Better than all the concoctions the GP can prescribe.

28/03/2014 at 12:43

I agree, Mike, trees are wonderful - magnificent -  beautiful  - life-giving - strong - peaceful.  Walking through a forest we watch the wildlife, the wild plants growing and feel more peaceful in ourselves.  Trees are always growing and changing by the seasons.  They are like mankind: we grow, we change, we mature. 

28/03/2014 at 13:56

They are the nearest thing to god Mike and we can see and appreciate them every day.

28/03/2014 at 14:03

And where would we be without them I wonder....

28/03/2014 at 15:56

Full of mushrooms Fairygirl, Full of mushrooms!!!

One can dream.

28/03/2014 at 16:35

Really good subject, Mike.....the tree's contribution to mankind is incalculable. The first wheel was made by early Mespotamians from solid wood.

28/03/2014 at 17:14

Wonderful things, trees.  Oxygenators, house & shipbuilding and all the things you say,  Mike.  Fruit   Providers of whole ecosystems: a single mature oak tree can be home to 500 other species!

The whole country was covered with them till our ancestors cut them down from 10 000 years ago.  Never cut one down without planting three in its place!  When I die I want an English oak planted on top oif me.

28/03/2014 at 19:23

Wish you guys had been here when they cut down the tree opposite.  When the developers bought the meadow to put up a housing estate, they were made to protect the tree, which was the one thing we were bothered about - ie. the view out the front.  They had to chop the land back, but bought a whole lot of old railway sleepers to encase the tree in a sort of outsized planter.  The idiots who bought the house opposite then proceeded to plant a load of annuals under the tree - geraniums and the like.  'They won't grow there' I told OH, and sure enough, they couldn't compete with the tree.  The next year, one morning, I awoke to the sound of buzz saws, and looking out, to my horror, saw them cutting down the tree.  We rang the council and said 'Hang on - that tree has a preservation order on it'.  The council said that it had had to be preserved while the developers built their estate, but now it belonged to the morons opposite, it was theirs to do what they liked with.  Their house now looks like a barren, ugly expanse of brickwork.  The trunk of the tree has been turned into 'wood sculpture' by a mediocre chainsaw artist.  The stupid annuals now grow in a sea of grey chippings.  It was like watching a friend being executed. 

28/03/2014 at 19:26


I caught the end of an Alan Titchmarsh programme about woodland this afternoon. He was talking about how Britain was covered in forest and that a squirrel, if he was so inclined, could have travelled from the north of Scotland to the south of England without ever touching the ground.

28/03/2014 at 19:26

Life itself is an amazing event and the very fact that nature allows us to interact in some small way is very therapeutic. Yes, Mike is right, many people don't need medicating at all and all they need is exposure to the great outdoors and someone to listen to what they have to say.


28/03/2014 at 19:33

Please note that I know there are people who genuinely do need and benefit from medication and in no way intended to insult them before I receive the usual angry barage of private messages that accompany pretty much anything I post!

28/03/2014 at 19:48
Have to agree Mike great thread to, with out trees we would die or have to live in some horrible oxygen bubble building unable to go outside with out having to wear masks etc..I am a green volunteer and there is nothing more pleasurable than planting new trees and a few year later seeing the transformation on some of the nature parks we work on
28/03/2014 at 21:12

Busy Bee 2.


Oh! that terrible sound of a chain saw.  I hear it a lot around here.  Living close to Eltham Palace.   There are several ancient trees, that sadly have been victims of the recent gales etc.  It is so sad to see them go.  Then there are the morons, who move into a new home.  One of their first jobs is.  Get rid of the trees.  When Val and I moved here.  I started a small pinetum at the top of the garden.  Over time, I dug the trees out and took them to my daughter's place in the New Forest.  I kept one.  Now that monster must be around sixty feet tall.  I started it off fifty years ago from a tiny cutting.  Not wishing my life away, but.  I don't want to be around should the time come for it to be felled.  It would certainly break my heart.  As others have said.  A tree plays host to so many other life forms.  For instance.  I have a resident family of Magpies living in the penhoues apartment.  Such comedian, noisy at times, especially the youngsters.  They have the habit of picking up and dropping braed into the bird bath, so as to soften it up.  Then most of the tit family, Blue, Coal, Great and Longtailed.  They feed from it and nest therein.  Blackbirds and pidgeons are regular visitors.  Wrens and Robins and the odd Chiff Chaff, along with Blackcaps, Firecrest and Goldcrest.  So thankfully.  I have an ongoing natural stage set before me.

28/03/2014 at 21:21

I once worked in the Ancient woodlands of south London.  Generally called, Oxleas woods.  Actually it is an area of open space and woodland, situated at Shooters Hill.  Woolwich.  It starts with King Georges Field.  Then Eltham Common which is actually part of Castlewwod, where Sevendrooge castle stands. This joins Jackwood, then Oxleaswood.  It used to be run by the London County Council, later The GLC.   When the GLC was done away with.  It, like other parks etc came under the control of the local boroughs.  In some ways, this was good.  In others, not so good.  Perhaps I might pen more later on this subject.

29/03/2014 at 09:45

Working in an ancient woodland sounds like a brilliant job, Mike!

As far as trees blowing down is concerned, well -  that's just part of life.  More will grow.  But it's the wholesale clear-felling of natural or semi-natural woodland that's the problem..  The cultivated Sitka spruce & Scots pine plantations of the Lake District etc. are a crop, albeit with a maturity time of 30 years....  I'd rather have mixed deciduous everywhere, but, sadly, that ain't gonna happen.

You're fortunate to have firecrests as well as the others in your garden!  I've never even seen one!

29/03/2014 at 11:07

We are surrounded by woodland here in SW France (hence the 82 for department Tarn et Garonne) and see most of the birds Mike Allen has mentioned.  No Great Tits though, nor Firecrests, but we do have Golden Orioles and Hoopoos in the summer. 

Has anyone read the two Patrick Leigh-Fermor books about his walk as a young man from London to the Black Sea in 1920-something - through forests all the way!  Absolutely fascinating books, incidentally.

29/03/2014 at 11:10

I'd love to read about your time at Oxleas Woods Mike 

29/03/2014 at 11:19

Steve 309, we have similar views, I have told my family I am to be buried in the garden and an Oak planted on top so as I decompose it will be fed.My family are appalled.I have planted a tree for every friend that has died, rather than send flowers.I have also planted trees for happy occasions, a Prunus "the Bride" is in flower now and   commemorates my daughters wedding.

29/03/2014 at 11:55

I used to ride in Epping Forest. It was such a beautiful, magical place.

29/03/2014 at 20:22

I wonder whether if everyone planted one tree in their lifetime, that would be enough, or whether we should all plant five.  So far, I have planted a prunus, a poplar, a willow, an apple tree, a quince, an acer, a eucalyptus (RIP - winter 2010/11 - say no more) and have two pear trees and a magnolia in buckets, waiting for the right place and time.  It is an addictive habit.  But it would be good if everyone were taught that it was their responsibility to plant at least one tree in their lifetime - could we get it on the national curriculum I wonder?

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