A Word In Your Ear - September 22, 2016

Roy Edmonds

Roy Edmonds

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Today is the start of autumn, arguably the season when our trees are at their most colourful.

Fylde in Bloom has done wonders for public and private displays of flowers during the summer. The Woodland Trust is doing the same for the pride of plants, inviting contenders for a Tree of the Year.

My favourite is possibly the white willow, though I couldn’t select an individual one for the title. They’re usually close to water scenes and combine dark, rugged trunks with delicate foliage.

But it is in urban locations we should most prize our trees; bringing shelter, shade, cleaner air and uplifting the spirit. Never mind the occasional inconvenience of roots, leaves and fruit droppings – that’s nature, real life!

A new neighbour recently complained about a sycamore in our back street, saying he was intending to demand the council cut it down.

“Leaves and sticky figs keep dropping on my car,” he grumbled.

“Well, it’s been here a lot longer than you!” I pointed out, not liking to add that we weren’t supposed to park in the gated passage in any case.

Others must have agreed with me, since he solved his ‘issue’ by erecting a green canvas pergola that added extra elegance to our rear outlook.

This view, I can add, includes a sycamore offspring, once just inches high, which filters light beautifully from our only night lamp, plus a towering poplar that tells at a glance the power and direction of the day’s wind.

It was only with semi-retirement that I found time to start learning again the names of trees, then identifying and admiring the rarer as well as our most popular.

How wonderful to see white poplars, copper beech and silver birch brightening the fading green as it now turns gold.

It’s good to get back to nature. What would you pick as your favourite tree?

n For Roy’s books visit www.royedmonds-blackpool.