Alder Tree

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Alder Tree

The alder (Alnus glutinosa) is a tree common along streams, rivers and water logged soils. In winter next seasons red female catkins and long male catkins become conspicuous.

It was once coppiced for charcoal, and if it was grinded with sulphur and salt urine it would make the finest gunpowder.

When the tree is cut the inner bark is a red, orange colour, it was believed that it lurked evil because of the colour and its appearance of bleeding.

Credit: Information and photo kindly supplied by Peter Dowse of Bollington, Cheshire

Apple Tree

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Apple Tree

This tree, native to southern England and Wales, is a large deciduous tree with smooth grey bark can grow to a height of 40 metres. It develops a domed crown which spreads out into a dense canopy and gives shelter to animals seeking shade, and is home to many a bird and insect.

Leaves
The leaves are oval with wavy edges, pale green in colour when young, and mid to dark green when mature. In the Autumn the beech gives a spectacular display of rich yellow and orange brown leaves. The leaves are 5-15 cm long, and 4-10cm broad. The autumn leaves fall when the new leaves are about to sprout.

Flowers
The small catkin flowers grow in April and May are monoecious, meaning both male and female, and the beechnuts,10-15 mm long, are a triangular shape with small hairy husks, have often been used as food in generations past, prevented starvation. The beech was used against mental rigidity, arrogance, intolerance, and lack of sympathy.

A poultice was made from the leaves for healing scabs and skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis. It was noted that if you cut into the bark it would not heal, proving its rigidity, thus many a name was carved out on the beech tree.

Uses
Other uses for the beech tree is that it makes good firewood, smokes food such as ham, sausages, and cheese, makes drums used for Budweiser beer, furniture, sheds and such which are still made from this tree. One of the first uses of the beech tree was to cut it into thin slices for writing, forming our very first books. Beech; “boc” in Anglo- saxon means book.

The poet Tennyson referred to the roots of the beech tree as “serpent-rooted”, but these roots do not go as deep as in the oak tree for example, and can easily fall if the roots become waterlogged. A hard frost can help the tree lower its roots further into the ground in the attempt to get away from the cold, thus ensuring its survival.

Credit: © Photo and content kindly provided by Transition Wilmslow

www.transitionwilmslow.co.uk

Beech Tree

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Beech Tree

This tree, native to southern England and Wales, is a large deciduous tree with smooth grey bark can grow to a height of 40 metres. It develops a domed crown which spreads out into a dense canopy and gives shelter to animals seeking shade, and is home to many a bird and insect.

Leaves
The leaves are oval with wavy edges, pale green in colour when young, and mid to dark green when mature. In the Autumn the beech gives a spectacular display of rich yellow and orange brown leaves. The leaves are 5-15 cm long, and 4-10cm broad. The autumn leaves fall when the new leaves are about to sprout.

Flowers
The small catkin flowers grow in April and May are monoecious, meaning both male and female, and the beechnuts,10-15 mm long, are a triangular shape with small hairy husks, have often been used as food in generations past, prevented starvation. The beech was used against mental rigidity, arrogance, intolerance, and lack of sympathy.

A poultice was made from the leaves for healing scabs and skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis. It was noted that if you cut into the bark it would not heal, proving its rigidity, thus many a name was carved out on the beech tree.

Uses
Other uses for the beech tree is that it makes good firewood, smokes food such as ham, sausages, and cheese, makes drums used for Budweiser beer, furniture, sheds and such which are still made from this tree. One of the first uses of the beech tree was to cut it into thin slices for writing, forming our very first books. Beech; “boc” in Anglo- saxon means book.

The poet Tennyson referred to the roots of the beech tree as “serpent-rooted”, but these roots do not go as deep as in the oak tree for example, and can easily fall if the roots become waterlogged. A hard frost can help the tree lower its roots further into the ground in the attempt to get away from the cold, thus ensuring its survival.

Photo Credit: © Martin Liebermann

www.transitionwilmslow.co.uk

www.martin-liebermann.de

Blackthorn

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Blackthorn

The blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) is widely used in hedgerows and has white flowers which appear before the leaves.

The fruit are called sloes which if mixed with half weight of sugar and stored for two months make sloe gin. If the sloes are eaten raw they are tarty and will dry the inside of the mouth.

The plant is also the caterpillar food plant of the black and brown hairstreak butterfly.

Credit: Information and photo kindly supplied by Peter Dowse of Bollington, Cheshire

Elder Tree

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Elderberries

The elder (Sambucus nigra) is a small shrub or tree which is recognised by its brown, ridged and corky bark. It was often known as the people’s medicine chest, as all parts can be used as remedies. The berries are a good source of vitamin c and can be made into wine or jam. The flowers can be made into wine, tea and cordial.

It was once protected, Celts believed it was bad luck to cut down and it was sacred to the moon goddess. The leaves were gathered on the 1st April to protect them from evil spirits.

Credit: Information and photo kindly supplied by Peter Dowse of Bollington, Cheshire

Fir Tree

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Fir Tree
  • There are over 50 different species.
  • They can be found throughout North & South America, Asia and Europe.
  • Fir provides some of the main species of trees used for Christmas Trees.
  • The height of firs can vary greatly depending on the species; some can grow to be 130 ft tall.

All types of fir offer watershed protection to their environments, as their root systems holds soil to the surface and prevent erosion.

Photo Credit: © Vikki Gadd

www.vikkigadd.co.uk

Oak Tree

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Oak Tree

The oak tree is a strong deciduous tree with deep roots, which can grow fairly quickly the first 80-100 years then slows down in growth for the next few hundred years. The oak has antiseptic properties, and is known as the king of trees. More insects feed on the tree than any other species, with support for 30 species of birds, such as nut-hatches, woodpeckers, warblers, and flycatchers. There is also 300 species of lichen associated with the oak. Two main types of native oaks are found in Britain. The common oak which has acorns with long stalks, and the dominant oak with acorns which sit to the right on the twig, rather than from a short stalk.

Leaves
The leaves are dark green with curvy edges and are about 8cm. The spread of the tree produces good conditions for blue bells, foxgloves, primroses, and wood sorrel to grow under it’s shade.

Oak Berries (Acorns)
Catkins flower in spring, and acorns appear in autumn. Acorns were placed on window sills to guard the home from lightening and harm by our ancestors. In folklore the tree was associated with the God Thor, and other thunder Gods, believing to protect the tree itself from being struck by lightening.

Uses
Woodlands, hedges, parks are the main areas to see the planting of oak trees. Brown dye from the bark made ink, and was also valued in the leather tanning industry. Ships, tutor houses, woodcarving, furniture, doors and heavy weight bearing beams were all made from oak.

The oak tree fairy
The tree spirit was said to be of masculine strength, giving fertility power, endurance, and prosperity to those who sought its help.

Healing
Boiling its bark was used to treat harness sores on horses, and in the past used externally for piles, and internally for diarrhoea.

Further Info
Transition Wilmslow have some expert people with a developed sense of awareness as to the role trees play in our lives: and seek to bring this knowledge into focus for the health and well being of us all. A small section of a recreational area off Gravel Lane has been planted with fruit trees with this objective in mind. In Styal woods a number of oak trees have been planted within the hedges by people wishing to remember someone who has been important in their lives. Trees can mark occasions in many ways.

Credit: © Photo and facts kindly supplied by Transition Wilmslow

www.transitionwilmslow.co.uk

Rowan Tree

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Rowan Tree

The Rowan tree (Sorbus aucuparia) is a deciduous small strong tree native to the Northern Hemisphere, can grow to 20’, often in poor soil. It is also a tree seen planted where land has been overworked as it is tough and dense. In Scotland this tree was mainly planted near homes for protection. Even today the Scots would not damage a Rowan tree incase their home and person would cease to be protected.

Leaves
The green- grey feather like leaves ( pinnate) turn reddish in the Autumn, and are similar to that of the ash tree, though not related.

Flower
White flowers with five petals grow in May around 5-10mm and grow in clusters.

The Rowan tree berry
The berries grow to 4-8mm every third year or so, and can be orange or red; in winter the red may even darken. There is a five pointed star on the berry at the end furthest from the stalk. This pentagram shape was also the symbol of protection, and the red colour was said to be the best colour against enchantment. The berries are eaten by birds such as thrushes and waxwings.

Healing
Was once used for scurvy, and as tonics, especially when run down and in need of vitamin ‘C’.

Cough syrup from the Rowan berry is still made in some rural parts of Scotland today.

Uses
In the past the bark was used for tanning. The berries too were used for dye. Today the tree is grown in gardens, and parks for wildlife, and still used for jelly and jams. Other uses were walking sticks, diving rods, spikes in rakes, carving tool handles, and spinning wheels to name but a few.

Stories
There are many stories associated with the resilient Rowan tree, mainly in the realms of celtic folklore, and as the tree means a secret, or to whisper. We will allow the tree to keep its own counsel here!

The Rowan tree fairy
The fairy of this strong tree of power was all about protection. Protection against evil, ( in days gone by evil was thought to be the power of witches, and was feared). Protection against superstition, gave protection for the cattle, protection of the home, and for those who live in the home. The tree fairy was said to be magical in being able to promote a positive attitude. This (feminine) fairy also gave virtue and helpfulness into this world.

Credit: © Photo and facts kindly supplied by Transition Wilmslow

www.transitionwilmslow.co.uk

Sycamore Tree

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Sycamore Tree
  • Sycamore trees can grow to be 100-175 ft tall.
  • The leaves tend to be 4-6 inches in length.
  • It is one of the oldest species of tree on earth.
  • It is considered a symbol of strength, protection, eternity and divinity.

Yew Tree

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Yew Tree

The yew tree is an evergreen long living tree, and native to Britain, with the power to self generate, as it reroots itself. The trunk hollows out after time, and its bark is reddish brown with purple tones which peels. Some of the oldest yew trees we have are over the common age which is 400-600 years old. The oldest yew tree is recorded in a churchyard in Perthshire ( Fortingall) with an age between 2,000-4,000 years old. Mature trees can also grow to 20m. Nether Alderley’s St Mary’s church has an old yew tree known to be 1,200 years old.

Leaves
Straight small dark green needles green grey underside with pointed tip. The birds that nest in these trees are our smallest, such as goldcrest and firecrest.

Berries (Arils)
These red pinkish berries are toxic with a poisonous kernel, though the fleshy part of the berry can be eaten by blackbirds, Mistle thrush or song thrush. Squirrels and dormice also find this part of the berry appetising.

Uses
Once used for the longbow, and is still used for dense easy to maintain hedges.

The yew tree fairy
The yew tree fairy is the oldest of the tree spirits and the hardest to understand, with a connection to the Eternal. As it is known as the forbidden tree ( from the garden of Eden story) With ancestral knowledge, it brings change, reincarnation, death and rebirth. The fairy is said to help bring you closer to loved ones who have passed on. Grave yards are common places to find yew hedges and trees, planted by the druids for sacred ceremonies. The same sites were then used by Christianity.

Healing
The young needles are used for chemotherapy in the cure of cancer, and in the past the none poisonous part was sometimes used as a laxative and diuretic.

Further Info
We know trees are the earth’s lungs, climate regulators and able to support the homes of birds, insects, and some species of animals. Trees give and sustain life in many ways, and our ancestors have valued this fact. Transition Wilmslow have some expert people with a developed sense of awareness as to the role trees play in our lives: and seek to bring this knowledge into focus for the health and well being of this and every area of Britain.

Credit: © Photo and facts kindly provided by Transition Wilmslow

www.transitionwilmslow.co.uk