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Native British Trees

A huge number of the trees with which we are familiar are recent introductions from other countries. One of the objectives of the Wendlebury Project is to have samples of broad leafed British Native Trees. These are the ones that would have been found when Britain was covered in forest (the Wildwood) after the last ice age about 10,000 years ago . At the end of Roman Britain much of the forest had been cleared for cultivation but quite large areas remained. Many of these were cleared between then and the medieval period, but some of the remaining wildwood was taken into management. It is from this management that the tradition of coppicing comes. It is interesting to note that left alone most land in Britain will become woodland but due to intensive farming Britain is one of the least wooded countries in Europe.

Traditionally managed woodland produces "timber", the larger materal used for planks, beams and posts; and "wood" which is suitable for light construction, furniture, fencing, utensils, and firewood. Typically the timber comes from larger standard trees such as Oak, Ash or Chestnut and the wood from understory trees such as birch and hazel. This picture shows the regrowth on a coppiced hazel which had not been cut for many years so had only three very large stems. The new growth is from one growing season and the photo was taken in early spring of the second season when the leaves are just appearing. Note the ground cover of Ivy and Celandine.

The native British broadleaved trees are listed below with those growing in Bowlers Copse highlighted in red.

Alder Ash Aspen
Beech Birch Bird Cherry
Blackthorn Buckthorn Crab Apple
Dogwwod Elder Elm
Field Maple Guelder Rose Hawthorn
Hazel Holly Hornbeam
Horse Chestnut Lime Oak
Poplar Rowan Sallow
Spindle Sweet Chestnut Sycamore
Wayfaring tree Whitebeam Wild Cherry (Goan)
Wild Service Wych Elm  

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