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Mike's Blog - Day 138

A view of the monkey puzzle from the north side today. The sky was too bright yesterday.

There are some signs of green. I’ll see if we can get a drone in and take a look at the crown. I’ll also get in touch with an expert up in Edinburgh. They might have knowledge as to the longevity of these trees in the UK and whether they can rejuvenate if the crown is still viable. But, given that hollow sounding section of trunk, I think this iconic tree of ours is bowing out.

Another tree of concern is the sister tree to the Beech that had to be taken down at Fungate.

I’m pleased to say it’s looking very healthy, it’s the foliage to the left of the gate, nice and dark green and lush. We estimate these trees are 200+ years old. The removal of the other tree has let light into what was deep shade. Ragwort is thriving there now.

This “weed” is poisonous to livestock, although they tend to graze round it but if it ends up in hay or silage they can ingest it without knowing. One thing that can eat it though is the caterpillar of the Cinnabar moth, and sure enough I was able to find a few munching away.

I’ve included a picture of the unmistakable black and yellow stripped caterpillar, but you might spot a caterpillar in the other two ragwort pictures.

The light was good today to get a better picture of the Eucryphia (Day 128).