Lucy Corrander's picture

Trees With Red Twigs

Observed: 18th December 2012 By: Lucy CorranderLucy Corrander’s reputation in PlantsLucy Corrander’s reputation in PlantsLucy Corrander’s reputation in Plants
LUCY CORRANDER - TREES WITH RED TWIGS IN DENT - DECEMBER 18TH 2012 - IMG_1204
                               Twigs and Bark
                               Red Leaf Shoot
LUCY CORRANDER - RED TREES IN DENT - SHOWING TOPS - DECEMBER 18TH 2012 - IMG_1203
Description:

Clump of trees. Substantial sideways branches, craggy, flaking bark, evidence of beetle damage. Lots of dead bits. Bright red, healthy shoots with smooth surface rising vertically (pale brown/yellow at base). Leaf buds bright red. Not sure if shape is natural or due to the ends of branches being sawn off - a kind of pollarding? Growing at foot of cliff beside salt water - water comes right up to roots. (Seaweed hanging in lower branches)

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which White Willow (Salix alba) interacts

Comments

Rachy Ramone's picture

Definitely Willow!

But I'm not sure which one.

In my experience, White Willow have light brownish buds, but there are a large number of cultivars with spectacular winter twig colour, and correspondingly coloured buds.

It could well be a garden escape - it does indeed look as though it has been deliberately pollarded, so possibly it was deliberately planted?

Fascinating to hear that it's growing with its roots in salt water... I know willows like water, but that is a bit odd!

Rachy Ramone

How to take close-ups with cheap phone and hand-lens:
http://tree-and-shrub-id.blogspot.co.uk/p/how-to-close-ups.html
Field Guides for Budding Botanists:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01A8YB0WY

Lucy Corrander's picture

Willow

Thanks for your comments, Rachy. There's a lot of land-slippage along this coast so its possible the original tree slid down the cliff at some point. So maybe it was planted deliberately - but not there. (Can't think of a reason why someone would plant it where the tide comes in and cuts it off for much of the day!) The apparent pollarding is odd. I suppose it's possible that there's a house at the top of the cliff and the tops of the trees were obscuring the view but . . .

Blog - Loose and Leafy - http://looseandleafy.blogspot.com/

lavateraguy's picture

Substantial sideways branches ...

... would suggest Salix fragilis, but in this case I would suspect that it is a Salix alba that has fallen over.

There may be enough of a flow of fresh groundwater to keep the salt away from the roots.

Lucy Corrander's picture

Salix fragilis

Thanks for your suggestion, Lavateraguy. Salix fragilis was my first thought and I can't properly remember why I changed my mind - but it may have been because something I read made me think it doesn't grow much in England.

The water - yes, there's fresh water running down the cliff - enough to visibly drip and make a small pool on a rock, then run on. It doesn't seem a lot but, if it's constant, it may amount to enough during the course of a day? Perhaps the roots grow backwards into to the cliff and get most of their water that way?

Blog - Loose and Leafy - http://looseandleafy.blogspot.com/

Rachy Ramone's picture

Salix fragilis...

...is EVERYWHERE in England! If you have canals, rivers, streams, or watercourses of any description, you are almost guaranteed to have the damn stuff.

Falling over and re-sprouting, as per your photos, is the main distinguishing characteristic: either from a large limb splitting away from the main trunk, or from it growing in a 2-headed form, and the two trunks splitting apart.

But the new growth is rarely as red as that in your photo. Otherwise, if I had been presented with only the second photo, of the horizontal bark with greenish sprouts, I would have said "probably Crack Willow" without hesitation.

Rachy Ramone

How to take close-ups with cheap phone and hand-lens:
http://tree-and-shrub-id.blogspot.co.uk/p/how-to-close-ups.html
Field Guides for Budding Botanists:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01A8YB0WY

lavateraguy's picture

The next question .,,

... is whether all the photographs are of the same plant. Perhaps both species are present.

Rachy Ramone's picture

Oh, you are so right...

...to ask that question (another reason why I don't enjoy ID from photos), as there is the assumption that it's all one species, which might not be the case!

Rachy Ramone

How to take close-ups with cheap phone and hand-lens:
http://tree-and-shrub-id.blogspot.co.uk/p/how-to-close-ups.html
Field Guides for Budding Botanists:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01A8YB0WY

Lucy Corrander's picture

Same tree?

Good question. I'll have to go back when tide, time and weather permit. Or . . . maybe all will become clear when the leaves appear?

Blog - Loose and Leafy - http://looseandleafy.blogspot.com/