Veteran Tree 4 – Beech

Woodland Trust Veteran Tree Id: 202257

Grid ref – SJ 41360 88740     W3W ///shirt.aspect.slices

Veteran Tree 4 is a large beech tree not far from the Countisbury Drive entrance.

  Ancient Characteristics

Girth: 3m 73cm

The girth of this old tree tells us that it’s a mature tree probably over 200 years old.

The deadwood in the crown tells us that it has reached its maximum height and is now getting shorter as its top branches die and fall.

The crown has many twisted branches where they have been broken and decayed.

More notably there are hollows collecting water high in the tree and dark runs can be seen as it trickles down the trunk. These pools are instrumental in rotting the wood which will eventually cause the heavy branch to drop away. A major part of the decaying process.

The process of decaying continues at the roots where large pools form and rot the tree at the bottom.

Here the bark has split and the wood is exposed. This will allow rot to get through to the heartwood and the tree will begin to hollow.

Still stunning and alive this tree is past its best and is entering the final stage of its life.

B Cameron

All photographs are the author’s own.

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