Tree Survey

March 1 Tree Survey

On Saturday we surveyed the Beech Copse in Area 4. John and Diana have counted 42 trees there and we mapped out the larger ones – mostly beech but also oak, horse chestnut and poplar. One tree had extensive graffiti carved into the bark. It looked like the incomprehensible ramblings of someones notebook in 1984. There was also a tree marked 1884.

Quite a bit of tree hugging went on after Diana gave us the following information which relates to ancient trees of each species:

Woodland Trust Info:
An adult hug + 1.5 metres
Ancient Trees:
Oak-3 hugs
Scots Pine-2
Cedar of Lebanon-4
Field Maple-1
Sweet Chestnut-4
Pollarded trees may be smaller

We detoured to the large old oak and 3 and a half of us gave it a hug (repositioning a few attention-seeking brambles at the base). In the friable dead wood within the tree, we found a ‘Darkling beetle’

This was identified by Mike Bloxham as Cylindronotus laevioctostriatus . It is around 1 cm long and the adult grazes on Pleurococcus (this is the algae we have found on almost every single tree in the survey). The larvae live in the sandy soil around oaks in ‘woodland areas’.

We may also have seen a harlequin ladybird – an invasive and predatory species. It is very variable in colour (see photo below). Please see for more information about ladybirds, including this PDF ladybird identification sheet .

identify harlequin ladybird

Our next survey date is March 11th (Tuesday).

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