I'm following a tree







Last year I joined in with


 "I'm following a tree"
   
I followed a lovely wild Apple tree from May right through to January .
 Recording everything I saw from buds to butterflies





This year I will do it here on the quiet walker.

I have chosen a Larch tree ( European Larch (Lariy decidual)) it's the sad looking brown one to the right of the photo, in a clump of  Pine trees, there are about five larch trees here, and I pass them most days on the way to the park, so easy to keep an eye on.








The reason behind choosing the Larch tree is the beautiful flowers it has during spring to the amount of wild life it supports, which I hope to show you throughout  the year.

Last year it had some odd shaped cones that fused together.





and the older still cones have Lichen growing on them...





The seeds are eaten by red squirrels and a number of birds, including the siskin and lesser redpoll, while the buds and immature cones are eaten by black grouse. The caterpillars of many moths feed on the foliage, including the case-bearer moth and larch pug. Larch tortrix moth caterpillars eat the cone scales.

In European folklore larch was said to protect against enchantment. The wearing and burning of larch was though to protect against evil spirits.


Blue tit, feeding on the cones
A Harlequin tucked away under a cone.


The Larch tree is monoecious, meaning both male and female flowers are found on the same tree.
Male flowers from on the underside of the shoots, and are globular  clusters of creamy yellow anthers. Female flowers are often referred to as "Larch roses " , they grow at the tip of the shoot.


So come follow me through out the year to see what we can find.



Comments

  1. What a good choice for a tree! Can't wait to follow along...anticipating photos of the spring flowers!

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    1. Thanks Juliet, can't wate for the flowers to come out they are beautiful ....
      Amanda xx

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  2. Wow! Didn't know a Larch could be so fascinating! Although I've said all trees are interesting, I admit I would've sniffed at the Larch. Thanks for opening my eyes!

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    1. Thank you, it's a wonderful tree which is I think is over looked, you have to look close to see what's going on.
      Amanda xx

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  3. Its a great idea and a good choice as a subject Amanda. Superb close up images already.
    Any chance of you climbing up it, purely for research purposes.{:))

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    1. Thanks Roy, we use to climb the trees in our garden when we were kids, Sadly this one is not fit to climb..
      Amanda xx

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  4. I like Larches - I like the way they sort of droop and splay out - nice photos. Looking forward to seeing everything that goes on in and around the tree.

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    1. Thanks Elaine, it's the first tree that got me started looking at trees so they are special to me.
      Amanda xx

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  5. Love the cones! And it appears the wildlife enjoys them, too. I'll look forward to following your tree during the coming year. :)

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    1. Thanks PP, I'm interested to see if the cones grow a odd shape this year.
      Amanda xx

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  6. Sounds like a great choice. I particulalry liked the snippet of folklore - love that kind of thing. I once bought a betony plant purely because I'd read it was good for warding off dragons! x

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    1. Thanks Julie, fancy making a Larch wreath to hang on the wall, word of those evil spirits..
      Amanda xx

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  7. I'm very interested in following your updates on the larch, and already informed! Here, the pheasants seem to select the larch to roost in, and I've wondered why. Someone told me it is because the branches grow outward and straight (easy for perching on?), but I now wonder if it is the cones they're feeding on. Beautiful images, and love the fused one - very sculptural.

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    1. Thanks Jennifer,sadley no pheasants at the park, but will be keeping a eye on what other wildlife use the tree...
      Amanda xx

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  8. It's a good choice. I'm looking forward to seeing the larch throughout the year and the wild life it supports. Thank you for sharing all the facts I didn't know :)

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    1. Thanks Linda, look out for the woolly Larch aphids during the summer, amazing insects....
      Amanda xx

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  9. I've never seen larch flowers before so this will be a very interesting tree to keep up with. Good choice! x

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    1. Thanks CT, it will be one flower you will be looking for as they are beautiful..
      Amanda xx

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  10. What a great idea. I'll look forward to following your updates.x

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    1. Thanks Deb, it has been a good project as you look really close at what's going on and at the end of the year it's great to look back.
      Amanda xx

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  11. Lovely, lovely pictures of the cones. Absolutely grabbed by their beauty.

    (I'm also left hoping Julie has never been troubled by dragons since she bought her plant. Can't be too careful about dragons!)

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    1. Thanks Lucy, It will be a good tree to follow. I have this image there are dragons lined up out side Julie's gate, they don't enter as she has betony plant !!!!
      Amanda xx

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  12. It will be interesting to see your tree and follow along through the year! I think the cones are amazing aren't they and how interesting that they stay on the tree for so long. Looking forward already to seeing more! xx

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    1. Thanks Amy, I think that's why the branches swoop down as some are so heavy with old cones....
      Amanda xx

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  13. A really interesting post Amanda with some great macro shots - love those double cones. I look forward to reading more as the year progresses :)

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    1. Thanks RR, really pleased with the macro shots from my new camera, the double cones look like a heart.
      Amanda xx

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  14. What a beautiful post. I love the shots of the cones, they're quite lovely and well done! I especially like your final photo. It has such interesting definition. I look forward to following your tree along with you. Thanks for the wonderful post.

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    1. Thanks Anna, just added you to my blog list , hopefully when we post again the flowers will be out.
      Amanda xx

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  15. Such an interesting and informative post Amanda. I love it when trees hang on to their cones, like Christmas decorations:)
    I think many people do not realise just how important our trees are to wildlife.....I love the fact your give this information......

    I like the macro shots....you are obviously enjoying that camera of yours now :)

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    1. Thanks, Cheryl, doing this kind of post helps you look for things you might have missed, looking forward to seeing what wildlife uses the tree.
      Amanda xx

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  17. I love the cones on a larch tree. They are more pappery than other cones. Love the way they grow on the stems and often collect them, if I find them on the ground!
    Jacqui x

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    1. Thanks Jacqui, I usually have some kind of cone in my pocket ! Often bring things home....
      Amanda xx

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  18. This will be interesting for me as I know next to nothing about larch trees. Great photo of the tit on the cone and the ladybird. The trees look very sad in winter - if you didn't know better you might think they were dead! xx

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    1. Thanks Mandy, they do look very sad during winter, dose make it easy to spot them though, Have been quite surprised how few people recognise this tree. It's a popular tree round here so thought it would be else were.
      Amanda xx

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  19. That harlequin looks very cosy. It's amazing to see that the cones can remain affixed to the tree so long that lichen can find a home on them. I'll look forward to learning more about your tree over the next year.

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  20. The cone photos are exquisite, so enjoyable. Do you have any idea how old the cones with lichen are? That's amazing. Perhaps lichen grows fairly fast where you live ... ?

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    1. Thanks Hollis, it did cross my mind how old the cones were, I wounder if there is any evidence on how to age a cone !
      Amanda xx

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