Regeneration

Fallen Hornbeam Tree

Fallen Hornbeam Tree

A fallen tree is a familiar sight in our woodlands – frequently with an air of sadness and decay. They are frequently the oldest trees, who have come to the end of their upright life and been felled by fungi and wind. We mourn them, for the passing of an era if the tree was ancient. And then we enjoy the extra light that can reach the forest floor, the sudden growth of woodland biennials and perennials, the extra insect and fungi life that begin the business of breaking down the old tree so that the carbon and nitrogen locked within its cells may be recycled into the next generation, and of course, the new saplings that spring up to take its place. The cycle is endless, and essential if there is to be new life.
Hornbeam Twists

Hornbeam Twists


Occasionally, however, the cycle takes a new twist. This Hornbeam tree growing at Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire is just coming into leaf. The wonderfully twisted branches now lying on the ground are still growing happily, because it has managed to reroot itself. It has also sent up a new ‘sapling’ of its own.
Regenerating Hornbeam

Regenerating Hornbeam

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