I’m now going to bore you some more with my trip to Chipping Campden. See, I think about you all the time, even on holiday, and I thought you might appreciate the trees.
Well, you might. I have come across people who hate the idea of doing anything but let a tree grow as it will, somehow thinking of pruning or shaping as cruelty to trees. They possibly even have a national society for the prevention of cruelty to trees. But one of the joys of my holiday were the carefully managed trees and shrubs.
The carefully pruned plant above must, I guess, be a wisteria. I understand they ought to be pruned twice a year to do their thing best. You will understand why I don’t have one.
Below is a picture of a pollard. The late, great, Oliver Rackham wrote, in the only book I have ever read three times, (The History of the Countryside) “Almost all woods in Britain, though of natural origin, have been managed, often intensively, for centuries… Pollards are cut at between 6 and 15 feet above ground, leaving a permanent trunk called a bolling (to rhyme with rolling) which sprouts in much the same way as a coppice stool but out of reach of livestock.”
They have use in gardens and towns because they are kept smaller, create less shade, drop fewer dangerous branches and live longer. And I think they look great. Even in winter. (Especially with a blue sky)
In that photograph you can see the church, and that church has some wonderful pollards.
Which I photographed for you. (and me)
Ancient Lime Tree Pollards
I understand that the original lime trees were planted around 1770 and were intended to represent the twelve apostles. I wonder if anyone reading this wonders what on earth I’m on about? I recently heard of a teenager, asked, for her homework, to compare two parables. Apparently she said the homework was too hard and she had no idea what a parable is. Hm.
Five of the trees were replanted in 1929 but the others are likely to be originals.
This tree was on the shortlist for the Woodland Trust’s Tree of the Year 2022. This is an annual ‘tree of the year’ competition which “aims to highlight how vital trees are for our landscapes and our lives”. We had one of our own in Monmouthshire also on the list. .
This amazing specimen in the churchyard has a hollow trunk and a tree growing inside it:
And, of course, in winter they look a bit dead.
Additional Benefit of the Lime Trees
Some of the lime leaves which will soon emerge will be eaten by the caterpillars of many moth species, as well as aphids, which in turn will feed our birds and bees.