Nature Blog Network

Well-behaved tree?

Below is a snap of a tree from the Grizedale Hide at Leighton Moss Nature reserve. The prevailing weather comes from the south west, on the right of the snap.

Tree Leighton Moss cropped 200

It is doing many of the things the nature books say a tree should:

It has 'overblown' branches on the side of the prevailing weather
it has straggling branches away from the weather, on the north (left) side
It is drier on the south side, to the right of the picture

This latter statement is frequently found in nature books, that a tree is drier on the south side which receives more sunlight. Conversely the trunk is damper with heavier algae and moss growth on the north side, which receives less sun.

It appears that the ash tree on the lane hasn't read the books, as this is noticeably wetter with heavier moss growth on the south. This is probably because the local conditions mean that the prevailing rain comes straight up the lane in a pretty much south-north direction, whilst adjacent trees and houses means that the trunk receives very little direct sunlight.

tree lane 200 tree lane detail 200

This demonstrates nicely that local examples don't always follow generalised rules. Just hope nobody uses this to navigate by.