BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

Posts tagged ‘sycamore’

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September 5th – Whilst I obsess over galls on oaks and wild roses, other shrubs and trees have their own problems. Here on Clayhanger Common, this sycamore tree is affected by sycamore mites and tar spot fungus.

The curious leaf growths form on the leaf like a gall from the point at which mites feed on the leaf by the same mechanism that other gall insects imply – in the case of these tiny mites, their saliva corrupts the lead cell DNA to grow into a gall.

On the underside of the leaf, a tiny, fur lined aperture into the gall is used by the mite after it has grown to lay its eggs, and the gall is eaten by the hatchling.

This leaf also has tar spot fungus.

Neither harm the host tree to any extent.

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November 17th – But still, some vestiges of autumn cling in in the final trees still shedding their formerly green leaves. Noticed while on an errand to Tipton, this sycamore in Ocker Hill was showing a beautiful range of colour against the bright blue frost-morning sky.

Sad, but very beautiful on such a chilly morning.

August 5th – Interesting to note the fruits doing well this year and those that aren’t. We seem to have bounteous quantities of blackberries, acorns and here, sycamore seeds. Beech also seems to be fairly prodigious.

Not doing so well at all are the horse chestnut, hazel and pear trees.

It’s curious how the years cycle. As my Grandad used to say ‘It’s always a good year for something’.

September 4th – Apologies for the poor phone photos, I forgot the camera…

I’m still musing on the oaks, and their various blights and parasites. I asserted a few weeks ago that the oak seemed to suffer disproportionally with these afflictions, but I was forgetting the various leaf-miners, bugs and aphids that affect other species.

This sycamore in Pleck, Walsall for instance is suffering form various things, including leaf miners. I have no idea why, but only this tree out of several neighbours is affected.

I really ought to read up on this stuff.

October 14th – Even on the dullest, wettest days this autumn has been outstandingly beautiful. In darkest Wednesbury, the foliage near Steelpark Island is gorgeous.

July 7th – Working late, I returned at sundown and winched my way up Shire Oak Hill from Sandhills. I noticed that lots of trees along here are laden with developing fruits – beach nuts, acorns, pine cones and these, unusually abundant sycamore seeds, or ‘helicopters’ as we used to call them as kids.

They seem to be already ripening – but this is only just the beginning of July. 

Am I imagining it, or are we heading for an early autumn?

August 5th – I returned in heavy rain and the photography was lousy. I did notice, however, that may trees seem to be fruiting better than the hazels of yesterday. This Sycamore at Sandhills has fine, plump seeds, already turning brown in preparation for what is, in their case, genuinely a fall, all be it a blade-moderated one. In my childhood, these seeds were called ‘Helicopters’, for their notorious (and I think, unique) spinning action as they fell.

Hips and haws are also doing well in the hedgerows right now, but the photos were terrible, sorry.

September 5th – the fruiting will soon be upon us. Already, I’m seeing early ripening and falls from wind damage and squirrels. The sycamores growing alongside the road at Sandhills, Shire Oak are heavy with their unique spinning seeds, and the beeches have already shed a few nuts. I’m already collecting these, as I do every autumn, for spreading on wasteland and hedgerows as I cycle. More about my guerilla planting later in the season…

August 29th – I don’t know if this is the result of a natural process, a disease or a parasite but all the sycamores I’m seeing at the moment have these brown/yellow scabs on the leaves. This one was on the canal at Hopwas Hays Wood, but I’m seeing it everywhere. I’m aware of the leaf miner problem with horse chestnut trees, but didn’t think that affected sycamores. Any ideas, anyone?