I follow a really nice blog called Loose and Leafy.
It’s all about the description and photographs of trees and hedges and other beautiful plants in the Dorset region.
Unbeknown to me the creative blogger, called Lucy, also documents and studies trees throughout the year in the shape of a blogging challenge called Tree Following.
Of course knowing my love of trees, how could I resist to take on this challenge? Impossible!
The challenge as described on the Loose and Leafy blog starts as follows:
Each year, I choose a tree and see what it does:
when its leaves appear and when they fall
which twigs grow and which fall off
if it has seeds
and if any germinate and grow into new trees
what its bark looks like – when it’s wet and when it’s dry
whether anything grows on it – like lichen
whether creatures sit on – insects, birds, butterflies
what plants grow round it and what they do too.
And I invite others to join me – to choose a tree and to ‘follow’ it.
So with all that in mind I had a good think about which tree I should follow. It needed to be one I could track easily, so within walking distance. It needed to be I could access for studying and I also thought that perhaps it needed to be one pertinent to me and my life.
While I must see a good few trees on walks with Mouse it quickly became obvious that the tree most pertinent to me is in fact sat tall in our garden already. So without further ado, I introduce to you today –
the Eucalyptus Gunii.
This tree has been in our garden for about 7 years now. It started off a little scrap of a thing looking all forlorn at a garden centre for £2.99 and I just had to have it. Back then it was no higher than 20cms.
I put it in a pot and watched it grow, and grow, and fall over and grow and fall over…well you get the idea. Basically it was growing quicker than the space in the pot allowed so one day I took the plunge and decided to plant it at the end of the garden where it could “do it’s thing…”
Five years on from that and I would say it’s nearing a height of about 20 meters and adding about a meter a year.
The bark is rather ragged, as you can see above, but the higher the trunk the more cream it becomes.
There is just one rather odd problem with the tree…for the last few years it’s been throwing off a lot of it’s leaves round about now, until the end of May which is fine until you actually see the leaves:
They all appear to have blotches and raised marks upon the leaves.
Apparently this could be one of two issues. It could be suffering from odema which means its taking up more water in the roots than the leaves can expire.
After all the rain we’ve had I’d not be surprised if it was having problems filtering the water but it only ever happens at this time of year and gets excessively bad before it seems to shake what ever it may be and carries on again.
The second problem it might have is more of an issue. Something which looks very like odema but is created by a tiny grub called the Eucalyptus gall wasp. The wasp causes the leaves to fall off. Unfortunately there is no control for large trees.
So I’ll be keeping a close eye to see if I can discover which problem it’s found itself in.
In the meantime I’ll carry on admiring the tall slender tree that makes a lovely rustling sound when a summer breeze passes through the garden.