Looking high and low in the woods

Christine Tansey's picture

May is marching on, and I’ve been travelling around the UK a lot in my new job, keeping an eye on phenology from Dorset to Oxfordshire, Somerset to Lincolnshire! Unfortunately this means I’ve not had much time for Track a Tree updates recently, but I hope everyone has enjoyed peak bluebell season as much as I have.

My travels have given me the opportunity to see Hawthorn, one of the most striking sights of our hedges and woodland edges, flower from the South to the North, starting in Dorset in April, and just reaching Edinburgh this week.


At Roslin, my regular Track a Tree visits have finally seen all my oak trees come into leaf, and many of the woods around the UK will have turned shady and green by now. However, up here, I’m still waiting for some of the mature ash trees to leaf.

On my most recent trip to the woods, I spent a lot of time looking up at the canopy, and comparing the oaks, sycamore and beech that largely make up canopy trees.


At the other end of the scale, some of the smallest sights of the wood can be found be staring at your feet or even crouching on your knees peering into the foliage to spy out the seeds of a wood anemone, all but gone from the shady woodland floor.


It’ll soon be time to take stock of all the records sent in this year, and to thank you for continuing to track your trees, even when we’ve been on the quiet side – you’ve kept the project going!

In the meantime, hope you make the most of the final days of spring in the woods.