Veteran Tree 15 – Beech

Woodland Trust Veteran Tree Id: 202254

Grid ref SJ 41170 88972   W3W ///into.butter.neck

Veteran Tree 15 is a large beech very close to Tree 14 on the small path near to Childwall Abbey Road.

Ancient Characteristics

Girth: 3m 53cm

Looking up at this beech tree it is clear that it has lost many branches through the centuries. Its wide trunk is full of scars and its crown has many dead and hollowing branches.

But this tree has a surprise for those who care to look.

It is totally hollow inside.

Covered and protected from the weather, there is a beautiful clean new bracket fungus called the artist’s polypore (Ganoderma applanatum) growing on the wood that remains.

This particular fungus is associated with breaking down wood and doesn’t mind if the wood is alive or dead.

It is so old it has other trees (epiphytic trees) growing out of it and the base is full of holes.

Many such trees hollow to become more flexible in the wind and avoid being uprooted and can remain structurally sound for many years after hollowing.

But when in leaf, this is a stunning tree.

It is roughly 240 years old and after two and a half centuries it is still a huge old veteran tree creating the ideal environment for the fauna and flora of Childwall Woods.

Author: B Cameron

All photographs are the author’s own.

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