Tree Following 2015: Thirst and Linden Blossom

1-P1080852Last month I left the Tilia trees of Tavistock square on the knife-edge of hope that they would soon be producing the the lovely linden blossom.

As assiduously as combing for nits, I inspected the trees regularly and felt that the odds were halved given that there are 2 species of Tilia here. But neither Tx Europea or T. Platyphollus ‘streetwise’ produced a single flower.

Aside from the disappointment of being unable to enjoy the scent, the sight of intoxicated bees and the taste of the flowers in a soothing tea, it also means that as a tree follower there is so much less of interest to record.

Revisiting the Limes is nevertheless always a joy for me and the advancing summer has brought the foliage to fullness, so much so that the pollarded trunks are all but hidden under the enormous size of the T. Europeas leaves.

But a closer look shows yellowing leaves are already permeating the lime green foliage. Evidently the trees are under some stress, especially the younger, supposedly hardier T. platyphyllos ‘Streetwise’ hybrids. I remain optimistic though that they will survive the predations of summer and municipal neglect not least because these hairier leafed trees are designed for tougher urban conditions.

Even so young trees need watering for a couple of years after planting but in Camden the council do not follow up with the required after care (hence there are several young dead trees in other squares nearby as well as fading street specimens). The problem is exacerbated by the hot and mostly rain free weather we’ve been having in London since June.

There are apparent  signs of linden blossom in Tavistock square but the seed-heads have been blown in along with other leaf litter . In nearby Gordon square however, one or two of the pollarded limes have most definitely flowered although it remains a mystery as to why only a few of these monoecious specimens have borne fruit.

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Tree canopy is a double-edged sword in that it disbars both sunlight and rain. London planes and Ash tower over wilting hornbeam hedges and oak-leaf hydrangeas. They also dwarf the Lime trees and may act as a rain shelter just when these young trees could do without such protection. But equally the coolness of shade, probably helps reduce the rate of vaporization from young leaves.

And given that it has been so hot and dry,  the screen cast by so much greenery is however much appreciated by those of us who walk or run the boundaries of Tavistock square.

Postscript:As I was putting the finishing touches to this post the weather contradicted with a summer downpour and today some persistent rain.

Tree Following with Lucy: There’s a link box on Loose and Leafy on 7th of the month for 7 days. Every month!


8 thoughts on “Tree Following 2015: Thirst and Linden Blossom

    1. In the past have phoned Camden environmental dept about thirsty trees and they said they will forward my message on but meanwhile could I water them. And so I did carry large cannisters of water to and from my flat to save some young Laburnums in Tavistock – they are thriving now! There is a limit to my aquarian abilities after my back op – might have to get a donkey especially now that I’m experienced in handling one!


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