Tree Following 2015: 1 down 100 to go

It’s been two months since I last updated the progress of Tavistock Square’s limes or linden trees. There was little to report on the trees in August until the weather cooled and brought a significant amount of rainfall. Given that in July, the newer lime hybrids ‘Streetwise’ were showing some signs of distress this was a relief. As I wrote then:

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.”

Even so, on inspection this month the first sight that met me was the evident decline of a ‘Streetwise’ lime. There is some life left in it however and it was a relief to look around and observe that the remainder of the 100 or so others around the lime tree walk were healthy enough.

What these trees have lacked in terms of interest re their absence of flowering and seeding, they have more than made up for in the necessary detective work. Back in February I managed to identify the replacement trees of Tavistock Square from a single, very faded tag and ascertain that there is indeed a Tilia playtphollus cultivar called ‘Streetwise’ from Hilliers nursery:

Tilia P? streetwise - barely readable clue to id the new lime trees
Tilia Plat? ‘Streetwise’

The original limes of Tavistock square are according to internet information gathering, the Europea hybrids of T. Platyphollus x Cordata  but there seems little of the latter’s small-leaved gene stock in these. And what then I wonder are the lime trees of Gordon Square which have a compact, heart-shaped leaf, much less prone to predation, and similar to, but without the tougher texture of, the Streetwise hybrids :

Tilia x platyphollus streetwise lime tree foliage - september
‘Streetwise’ lime tree foliage with autumn tints

And that is why I enjoy ‘Tree Following’ as it hones the observation skills and sharpens the curiosity. Meanwhile there is a hint of tint in the Streetwise lime foliage – I look forward to comparing the autumn colouration.

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


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