smaller native broadleaves
smaller native broadleaves defined in 1944 yearsmaller native broadleaves - Smaller Native Broadleaves;
smaller native broadleaves - There are a number of small trees native to Britain which seldom attain timber size, and are rarely of any economic value. The forester, therefore, will not usually require to know more about them than is necessary for their identification in the woodlands.
Spindle-Tree (Evonymus europœa L.; Celastracea.) G. Spindelbaum; F. Fusain, is found mainly on chalk or limestone soils, and has pale green, simple, oval, pointed, opposite leaves, which turn to a beautiful shade of greyish mauve in late September. In winter it may be identified by the greenish-grey twigs which become four- sided through the development of corky ribs; the bark of older stems is smooth and grey. Figs. 1, 2.
The flowers open in June, and are small, greenish-white in colour, borne in the axils of the leaves, usually with the floral parts in groups of four, and may be male, female, or hermaphrodite. The fruits ripen in October, and are conspicuous by reason of their contrasting colours. The seed Vessels are pink, and open in four lobes to reveal the bright orange seed coverings. The spindle tree is remarkably decorative, but the pale, close-grained wood is found in such small sizes that it is only used, if at all, in the manufacture of such small articles as spindles and skewers.
Purging Buckthorn (Rhamtius cathartica L.; Rhamnacea). G. Kreuzdorn, is also found on lime soils, and is similar in general characteristics to the spindle. It is readily distinguished by the occurrence of spines on its round twigs, and the serrated edges of its leaves, which are yellowish-green, oval, and opposite. The flowers resemble those of the spindle, but the fruit is distinct - a round berry - ripening from green to black and used in the preparation of purgatives.
Alder Buckthorn (Rhamnus fratigula L.) G. Pulverholz, never occurs on lime soils, preferring the moist alluvial streamside soils where the alder is found, and hence it is often confused with that tree. It is much smaller in size, however, with alternate oval leaves. The absence of spines, together with the entire edge to the leaf, at once distinguish it from the Purging Buckthorn. The bark is smooth, black, with marked lenticels, and if scraped with the thumb nail reveals a bright terra-cotta red layer beneath, which at once identifies the species. The inconspicuous flowers are "perfect," with parts in fives. The berries, which ripen in September, change from bright green through red to black. Fig. 3.
The wood is never found in large sizes, but was formerly the standard material for charcoal for the gunpowder used in the old flintlock guns. This species coppices very freely when felled.
Sea Buckthorn (Hippopba rhamnoides L.; Elœagnacea.) G. Sanddorn, is botanically distinct from the two species described above, and occurs as a rare shrub of the sea-coast, adapted to life in a salty, sandy soil. Distinguished by its thorny branches and alternate, silvery-grey leaves, Which bear minute flattened scales. Flowers unisexual, inconspicuous, before the leaves; fruit a yellow berry. Probably of value in the fixation of moving sand dunes.
Dogwood (Cornus sanguinea, L.; Comacea.) G. Hornstrauch; F. Cornouiller, is a shrubby tree which prefers lime soils, and is distinguished by blood-red twigs which in winter bear grey naked buds like little crumple-folded leaves on opposite brackets. Leaves simple, entire, turning blood-red in autumn. Flowers in umbels, white, succeeded by black berries. Wood formerly used for skewers and goads, being hard and horny in texture.
Wayfaring Tree ( Viburnum lantana L.; Caprifoliacea.) G. Wolliger Schneeball; F. Vidrne mancienne, is found on chalk soils as a shrub of the hedge-rows. The winter buds resemble those of the Dogwood, but are distinctly stalked, and at the tip of the twig they are bent around a broad terminal bud - a typical feature of the species. The broad, simple leaves are clothed in cottony down, giving, the tree a dusty or mealy appearance. This is probably a protection against excessive transpiration on the dry sites where it grows. White flowers are borne in clusters in June. The berries ripen from green to red and black in September, and have an unpleasant rich fruity odour.
The twigs are pliant and may be used for tying. The shrub itself might be of value as a nurse for plantations on difficult dry chalk sites. Fig. 4.
Guelder rose ( Viburnum opulus L.) G. Schneeball; F. Boule de Neige, Snowball Tree. Smaller than the Wayfaring Tree, the Guelder Rose is a mere shrub occurring in the underwood of copses, etc., on both chalk and more acid soils. The stalked buds are oval, the leaves three-lobed, lacking the down of the Wayfaring Tree, and the berries are red when ripe. An ornamental shrub of no practical utility.
Elder (Sambucus niger L.; Caprifoliacea.) G. Schwarzer Holunder; F. Sureau; Ysgawen; E. Ruis or Truim, is distinguished by its opposite compound leaves, with serrated edges, the leaflets being few and broad at their bases. The bark is light- brown and corky, and young stems are filled with soft pith; the leaf-buds are reddish, and are not stalked. Flowers in July, white, in conspicuous cymes, strongly odorous. Fruits ripen in September, as masses of black berries. Unwholesome when raw, these berries are used to make elderberry wine.
The wood is light-yellow in colour, and is sometimes used for 10 skewers, and in cabinet work. The pith is of great utility in the botanical laboratory, as a medium for cutting sections of leaves, etc., for the microscope. Elder grows very rapidly, but is not of economic importance. It may be propagated by cuttings. Frequently found near dwellings, where soil conditions suit it, and to which sites it is probably accidentally introduced by human agency. The cotyledons of the seedling appear above ground, and the early leaves are first simple, then trifoliate. Fig. 5.
Privet (Uffistrum vulgare Lé.; Oleacea.) G. Rainweide; F. Troène; È. Crannla or Priméad, with opposite lance-shaped, dark green leathery leaves, white rube-shaped flowers in June, and black berries in September, occurs as a wild shrub of local distribution, principally on lime soils. The wild form is only partially evergreen, many of the leaves turning dark purple and falling in October. The cultivated hedge privet has more oval leaves; both are shade bearers. Privet may reach a height of 15 feet, and is highly resistant to town smoke. The wood is very hard; but of no practical utility. The garden Lilac is closely allied. Fig. 6.
A large number of shrubs which never assume tree-like form or develop useful timber, are commonly encountered by the woodman. The chief of these are:
Barberry (Berberis vulgaris L.) easily identified by thorns in threes at the foot of each leaf stalk; Wild Currants and Gooseberries (Ribes species), important as intermediate hosts for die rust fungus attacking Weymouth Pine; Wild Roses (Genus Rosa), species and hybrids too numerous to mention; Gorse (Ulex europea L.), a troublesome and inflammable weed; Broom (Cytisus scoparius L), also inflammable; Tamarisk (Tamarix gpllica L.) a rare and delicate shrub of the sea-coast. Certain of these are occasionally useful as nurses for more valuable tree species, but others are little more than weeds.
Of climbing shrubs we have the Honeysuckle (Lonicera species), which opens its leaves in January and has clusters of cream-and- pink fragrant flowers in July; and the evergreen, black-berried Ivy (Hedera helix L.) Both are very harmful to forest trees. Trailing shrubs include the Traveller's Joy (Clematis vitalba L.) and the Brambles (genus Rubus) with numerous species, to which the nearly erect Wild Raspberry is allied. The British flora includes a single parasitic shrub, the evergreen, white-berried Mistletoe (Viscum album L.) found wild on the Crab-apple and other trees. All the above are more or less harmful forest weeds, though the Mistletoe is saleable at Christmas time for decorations.
Finally, there is a host of dwarf shrubs, usually too small to rank even as weeds, but of value in some situations as soil indicators. Thus the fragrant Bog Myrtle (Myrtca gale L.) only occurs on rich, damp, peaty soils, and the large family of Ericaceae, including Heaths, Heather, and Bearberry, are found chiefly on acid soils. (Though such soils occasionally form only a few inches above limestone or chalk.) The allied Bilberries (genus Vaccinum, etc.) favour richer, less acid, soils, more suited to tree growth. - The Hock Roses, family Cistaceae, on the other hand, seldom occur far from exposed chalk or limestone.
Within each group, certain species have more especial preferences for soil type or moisture content. The study of such features merges into that of herbaceous plants and ground flora in general, but where it is proposed to establish a tree crop on a new site, the dwarf shrubs will be found reliable indicators as to the most suitable tree species to plant there.
pictures for smaller native broadleaves
near smaller native broadleaves in Knolik
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