With spring well and truly underway, our woodland trees are now starting to come into full leaf...and to demonstrate their full glory. If you’d like to understand more about the trees you see whilst out rambling, help is at hand.
The Woodland Trust has created an in-depth guide to the native and common non-native trees found in Britain. Native trees are those that arrived and grew here naturally after the last Ice Age and were not introduced by humans. By contrast, non-native trees are those species that have been introduced to Britain by people and can be found in parks, streets, gardens and naturalised in the countryside.
Each species is listed with identifying features, benefits to wildlife, uses, folklore and mythology and any threats to its survival. For example, in early Celtic mythology the silver birch symbolised renewal and purification and bundles of its twigs were used to drive out the spirits of the old year. Gardeners still use the birch besom (a birch broom) to purify their gardens. Blackthorn, also known as sloe, is early flowering and provides valuable nectar and pollen for bees in spring. It was long associated with witchcraft and it is said that wands were made using blackthorn wood. The wood was traditionally used for walking sticks and the fruit (or sloes) are used for wine making and flavouring gin.
Discover more in the full guide:
26 May 2015