Although we must focus on the loss of species (we are one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world), I thought it worthwhile to mention today a few examples of the adaptability of trees round my end of Otley. Starting with the Ash at the Pool Road entrance to the “Conker Park”. It has grown round the wall, seeming to absorb it, and continues unabashed. Then there are the Sycamore saplings very quickly colonising the terrace in front of the old Summercross pub. The Sycamore is a tough tree, tolerant of both wind and pollution, and with extremely fertile seeds. Finally there are the Ash trees further out along the road to Pool, on the opposite side of the road to Moor Drive, which have grown round the farmer’s wire fence. Not strictly an example of resilience, but also look out for a great example of inosculation in a Sycamore at the park end of the white bridge. This is where two branches join on to each other, self-grafting as it were, after movement has rubbed away the bark. When it happens between two trees they are known as Husband & Wife trees, or Marriage trees.
By Neil Griffin Photos by Neil