The Guardian reports volunteers are reviving a legacy of fruit trees that stretches back to the Romans, hugely increasing biodiversity – and cider production. Every autumn, cider maker Hawkes asks Londoners to donate apples to its cidery under the railway arches in Bermondsey, just south of Tower Bridge. In normal times, people who drop off a box of russets or royals leave with a bottle of cider from last year’s crop. But 2020 has not been a normal year. Through a trial delivery scheme to continue the exchange during the pandemic, 12 tonnes of apples have arrived at Hawkes in the post.
The BBC reports urban areas are not all high-rise flats and offices, they are also where you’ll find many of the country’s trees. Two London boroughs – Camden and Croydon – were among the top 20 places in England and Wales with the most tree cover, a research project has found. Meanwhile largely rural areas had some of the least – including part of the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales. Garden trees are boosting numbers in towns, while farming helps explain some of the low rural rankings.
The Sun reports environmental experts say we need to plant 50million trees in the UK each year to slow climate change. This year it is more important than ever. Covid has meant that fewer trees than before have gone into the ground But YOU can help by going into your local park, fields or woods, collecting trees’ seeds off the ground and planting them. If every one of us sowed just one or two acorns this autumn and planted the resulting seedlings next year, we could make a real difference.
The Telegraph reports summer is officially over, the Royal Horticultural Society has said, as autumn colours are being seen in their gardens and apples are ripe two weeks early. Many have noticed amber-hued leaves falling from the trees in the last weeks of summer, and the temperature has dropped from the giddy heights of the heatwave.
The early spring heat gave many types of fruit, including greengages and apples, a head start to the growing season, meaning that harvests have come early. Trees and shrubs are turning their leaves as they have been confused and stressed by the recent erratic weather, causing them to prepare for autumn earlier.
Photo by Jack Cousins under creative commons.
The Times shares a photo essay of some of the country’s most beautifiul and magnificent trees, with fascinating stories accompanying them. A sycamore decorated with the shoes of jubilant students, an oak bound in chains and a plane facing the chop, are just three of ten contenders for this year’s title in the annual Woodland Trust competition.
The Crouch Oak in Addlestone, Surrey is amongst them. Chosen, its nominator says “because it’s simply old and Queen Elizabeth I is said to have picnicked under it”. In the early 19th century the tree was fenced off by the landowner to stop local young women stripping its bark to make love potions. [Sorry we can’t find a non-copyrighted photo to show you this glorious tree here. If you have a photo of this tree please do share it with us and we will add it here, credited to you.)
Business Green reports telecoms giant to provide Internet of Things sensors to aid research into tree growth and their potential for carbon for CO2 storage. The government is teaming up with Vodafone to carry out a three-month tree study using specialist sensors to monitor growth and the impacts of environmental change on the UK’s forests, the telecoms giant announced.
INEWS reports tree cover could jump from 10 per cent to 35 per cent of England within just a few years, while protecting valuable grasslands, peat bogs, and other carbon-rich stores, Forestry Commission data suggests.
In total an additional 3.2 million hectares of trees could be planted on ‘low risk’ land, Friends of the Earth said.
The Independent reports sparse spread in some areas and higher temperatures mean fungal disease isn’t wreaking devastation predicted for all populations of ash. The fungal disease affecting ash trees across the world has been estimated to be on course to kill 95 per cent of UK ash trees, and cost the economy up to £15bn. But a glimmer of hope has emerged for the species after new research indicates these figures may have overstated the threat.
THE TELEGRAPH reports tossing apple cores out of the car window could be destroying Britain’s last wild apple trees, experts have warned. Researchers from the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh said they had discovered trees which have sprouted from supermarket varieties growing along the verges of motorways.
And genetic studies of crab apple trees – Britain’s last wild variety – show that in some areas more than half are now hybrids, after cross-pollinating with domesticated varieties.
Photo by Stacy Spensley under creative commons.
BBC NEWS reports the elm tree can return to the British countryside, given a helping hand, according to a new report. More than 20 million trees died during the 1960s and 1970s from Dutch elm disease. In the aftermath, the elm was largely forgotten, except among a handful of enthusiasts who have been breeding elite elms that can withstand attack. The research is showing promise and there is reason to be hopeful, said the Future Trees Trust charity.
Report author, Karen Russell, said mature specimens have been identified that are hundreds of years old, and have mysteriously escaped the epidemic. And a new generation of elm seedlings are being bred, which appear to be resistant to the disease.