Ta-Ta Tilias

A couple of months of tree following have passed without my recording anything, since nothing much had changed with the Tilia trees of Tavistock Square. This being the last month though, I wanted to wind up these posts with a final look.

2015 tilias of Tavistock Square
2015 Year of the Tilias of Tavistock Square

On my way there I pass Gordon Square and last year’s Hornbeam which contrary to its supposed tendency to hang on to handfuls of brown crumpled foliage is completely bare again, whilst the adjacent Tilias are still in foliate transition.

The picture is very much the same in Tavistock Square though perhaps less pretty. The large-handed foliage of the T x europaeas are seeing out the year with a good head of lemon-lime foliage. One or two of these pollards though are now so decrepit that they will not make it through to 2016.

Much of my interest in the Tavistock’s Lime/Linden trees has been with the replacements of Tx Europaea with the supposed hardier Tilia platyphollos cultivar ‘Streetwise’. At the last recording one or two were showing signs of distress probably from lack of watering and this time there were even more losses.

But first, on a more positive note…even more so than their Europaea counterparts, the Streetwise pollards still retain a dense head of lime green foliage, with thicker, smaller leaves beautifully lined and defined. Maybe the warmer zone of central London defies their supposed autumn glory promoted by the tree developers:

“Unlike other Tilia platyphyllos, this [streetwise] Hillier selection has purple-brown autumn colour, similar to that of Acer platanoides Crimson King”

However, at the eastern end of the avenue in particular, the ‘Streetwise’ lime replacement trees have not stood up well. Whether it is lack of watering in, too much shade or even water-logging, a few have died back and been stripped to the bone by squirrels seeking out nest material. One or two struggling to survive seem to be sprouting foliage more akin to large-leaved lime rootstock.

Tilia x Cordata - small leaved lime - winter in Tavistock square

Evidently, these young hopefuls have not lived up to their eponymous reputation for I’ve just noticed two young replacements have been planted – 1 T X Europea and 1 T x Cordata – the small leaved lime.

Seems that the guardians of Tavistock Square are hedging their bets as to which cultivar is best for the somewhat shady pollarded lime tree perimeter walk.

In conclusion the Tilias  have been somewhat of a disappointing tree follow for 2015 especially given their absence of blossom and subsequent seedcases but nevertheless I’ve enjoyed making observations and comparisons as well as the initial detective work of cultivar identity.

I’m not sure what tree if any I will pursue in 2016 – watch this space!

beech tree burl Tavistock square
thinking about things

Tree Following with Pat now: There’s a link box on The Squirrel Basket on 7th of the month for 7 days. Every month!