The tree that would not die

A family ramble across the wooded commons in the Friday Street/Leith Hill area this morning underlined just how quiet it all still is - in previous years, same time, same place, we would have seen or heard Cuckoo, Woodlark and Tree Pipit. Instead, we had to make do with a couple of Willow Warblers and brief flyover Siskins.

The scene above is of a stand of trees at the edge of a clearing close to Broadmoor. When we looked closer we were amazed to find that they are all using the same fallen giant to grow out from. It's as if, once fallen, the old boughs just straightened up and reached for the sky. There are two details below:

I don't know how common such an arrangement is. I've certainly seen suckers and whip-thin growth forming around stumps, but not such sizeable trees as these in such number (six) along the length of the fallen trunk. There was little leaf on them, and what I could see at the tree tops looked like Ash, although the ground all around was full of Sweet Chestnut leaves and fruit casing. My vegetative identification needs to improve...


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