Tree ID Course with ELM 6th June 2015

We were weighed down with a full bus today as we headed to Cothele Estate in Cornwall for a Tree ID course with ELM (Eco Land Management)

The estate is surrounded by some beautiful woodlands                                                                 following the River Tamar so it was the ideal
 location to get our tree identifying skills up to scratch. 

Chris had even 'packed' a special baguette for the long day ahead....

After a quick tea break around a convenient campfire, 
Dean lost no time in getting us to grips with 
the basics of identifying trees via one of their many key features: 
The leaf...

(Recognised by it's lopsided base)

(Recognised by it's many sets of leaves called 'Leaflets')

(Recognised by it's large broad leaves)

(Recognised by it's red stems, long leaves and serrated edges)

It was amazing what the amount of differences 
there are for trees just by their leaves alone...

Luckily we all had this excellent 
'Key to Common Trees' from the Field Studies Council to help us out...

After the leaf introduction it was time for another quick break...

Dean then set us a task to test our newly learnt Tree Identifying skills by 
having us try to correctly identify trees by their leaves...

Horse Chestnut
(Also known as Conker trees, they are recognised by
their large hand-like leaf spreads.

As we were focusing on leaves, we really started to admire just how beautiful some of the shapes and patterns they made up in the canopies above us...

Esther was quite tempted to try a lime leave.
Unfortunately it didn't taste of limes,
 but she said it was very nice all the same....Our own PEA Squirrel...

On the way back up to the campfire we spotted a rather fat...and jeering rook...

Who seemed to had helped himself to Chris's baguette..
Luckily there was still a bit left...

As well as leaves, trees can very greatly in their bark, even in the same 
species as with the cork-like bark on this Elm...

Look at this gigantic bracket mushroom, fallen from a tree!

With the leaves ID task over we then headed down into the surrounding
 woods to see what more trees we could identify.

These leaves are both actually from Goat Willow 
but look how much their size can vary from plant to plant!!

Caught this bee coming out of a Foxglove

As well as trees, there were huge amounts of wildflowers....

Once we had made it out of the woods and down to the quayside
 we decided it was time for a lunch break...

The change of climate down by the riverside offers much cooler habitat 
for different species of trees, like this Willow...

Just look at the beautiful canopy of colours from this Beech Tree...

Huge towering Foxglove!!....Okay low camera angle,
but it was still pretty big!  

As well as the woods, we also walked around 
the perimeter of the Estate gardens which house some pretty interesting plants...

Like Giant Rhubarb!

And even some bamboo

It also has some pretty spectacular views!

Enormous Spruce tree, a relative of your Christmas tree...The none plastic ones!

Whilst Rhododendron can be real pests in woodlands, 
they do make pretty garden plants if kept under control!

All too soon our day was over, and with our heads bursting with tree facts
 we all received our Tree ID certificates and got ready to head for home....

All with a greater interest and love for trees....

....With some more than others...

                                                                         Michael Gamble-PEA Team

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