• 10 years after - a brilliant day in Welwyn Garden City

    Met Welwyn & Hatfield Council Tree Officer Olly Waring and his colleague Emma at the Council offices in Welwyn Garden City yesterday and we worked out that it was well nigh ten years since I last visited to present a tree talk.

    Before the evening talk we set out for a swift tour of some of their most treasured and impressive trees - a true urban extravaganza in Welwyn. Barely a couple of hundred yards from the office they were proud to show me an extremely large wild service tree - clearly a remnant of the wooded countryside from which Welwyn Garden City was carved out some 99 years ago (they celebrate their centenary in 2020). And what a sensible vision they must have had to try and integrate the old woods and hedgerows into the layout of the town. We spied a truly massive oak wedged into a little cul-de-sac - proabably at least 500 years old and still in great shape. An oak coppice stool that can't have been cut for about 150 years at least and old hornbeams also wedged on long forgotten hedge banks. Then there are the trees that were planted to leaf out the burgeoning town - some fine London planes, horse chestnuts and an over abundance of limes. As we wandered down one of the green streets we came upon a most intriguing Indian bean tree or Catalpa. The tree leaned slightly to one side, but seemed sound, and yet it had what appeared to be several aerial type roots spiralling around its trunk - one large one and perhaps six or eight smaller ones, but it was difficult to ascertain whether they were growing upwards or downwards. A phenomenon I've never observed before so a bit of research required here.

    By 7.30 p.m. we were all gathered for me to present my ASH talk - a full house, so many thanks to the enthusiastic tree people of Welwyn and environs - it was lovely to meet you and chat to so many of you before and after the talk. And thanks to Olly for inviting me.


Archie Miles photography

Archie's Blog

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