Landscape change - trees

David M. Green

The landscape of Worcestershire has perhaps recovered in a way from the death of elm during the 1970s and 1980s. In hedges and fields around the Vale of Evesham where I make my observations ash and oak are now growing in place of elm as far as the general view of the landscape is concerned. However ash and many oak trees as they age become vulnerable to large branch loss, after which the life expectancy of the tree is considerably reduced for most specimens. This seems recognised by landowners of farmland such that it is not uncommon to see oaks subject to crown reduction by chainsaw surgery. In the picture it can be seen that the death of one oak tree after branch loss has apparently prompted the land owner, in fields near Grafton Wood, to reduce the branch length of the nearby oak.

Two oaks, one apparently dead, the other now with crown reduction. Picture © David M. Green