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Re: European beech forests

Corrrr blimey guvnor, its lonely in ere innit!

Heres another beechwood fungi Coprinopsis picaceus
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ww 31 9 2010 361.JPG
by hamadryad
Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:31 pm
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Re: European beech forests

Cage pollard 055.jpg
Volvariella bombycina (12).JPG
Ash wierdo 130.jpg
Epping forest 10 10 2010 150.JPG
WW 5th 10 2010 254.JPG
knole house 9 9 11 204.JPG
Hericium 14 11 2010 076.JPG
BB 3 10 2010 161.JPG
Phaeolus tobias 071.JPG

Beech have the second highest associated bio diverse ecology of our natives (U.K) I go out in search of their associated fungal partners regularly. I am most fortunate to live so close to so many great Beech and Oak woods, Epping Forest, Burnham Beeches, Ashridge Park, Knole house etc. Here are a few more images from our U.K Beechwoods.

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by hamadryad
Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:06 am
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Romainia - Mountain Forests

Just got back from Romania, a great trip all round visiting the last villages to still be working the trees and land the old ways, living in wooden thatched houses that are a unique style to the region. I was there to learn about rural Romania, pollarding, lime burning etc. Unfortunately I did not come a cross any pristine forest, but spoke to an archaeologist who assures me that pristine forest does exist in the Carpathia regions (mountain range) I hope to return sometime next year to that zone. However I did discover beech forest managed heavily by man managed for many many generations, a landscape entirely worked and worked hard by the peoples of the region (Alba county)

These mountain forests have been repeatedly felled and regenerated some through the coppiced stools of those felled. A remarkable area with the most rapid and healthy regrowth and re generation, which is undoubtedly due to the cycle of felling and harvesting sustaining a stage of succession in the fungal community that is of course mycorrhizae, with Ceps and Chanterelles being a huge by product supplying a massive export from the region in the main harvest. Collection points throughout the region buy the fruits of this very productive system off the local gatherers and many are shipped to Italy and other European countries, along with Bilberries and other fruits which are also abundant because of the mosaic forest/pasture habitat that is sustained by the communities activities.

The purpose of the trip in co-operation with Grampus ( ) was to learn about the old ways and skills of the region and design projects that will sustain the skills and knowledge of these communities for the long term. Sadly the younger generations are leaving the old villages to seek work across Europe and live a modern life, and who can blame them? and its most urgent we rescue these traditional skills, peoples heritage, culture and knowledge before its too late. it was evident that the decline has begun to show, it was sad to see such a wonderful way of life in decline. this way of life must be preserved, we have so much to learn from it about truly sustainable ways of land management on a landscape scale, for they have made it an art for thousands of years here.

Romania 161.JPG
A local woman feeding her cow (milk for cheese etc) with ash "Shreddings" normally done when hay is exhausted over a long winter and supplementary fodder must be added to the diet. These cows and other livestock are kept in barns all winter and overnight (Wolves and Bears roam wild here) This Lady and her son very genourously not only shared information about the ways but gave us this demonstration. A priceless and rare image.

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Trees are ring barked long before they are harvested, a practice evolved of the economy of effort needed to eek out a living from hard land. the wood seasons standing and dries making it half the wieght, a bit of lateral thinking!

Romania 553.JPG

Beech with bilberry

Romania 357.JPG

The Carline thistle a prairie/pasture lime stone perennial

Romania 248.JPG

The wood working skills of these Romanian villagers is outstanding

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Fomitopsis pinicola a.k.a the red banded polypore, common on broadleaf and spruce in the region (here on Fagus sylvatica)

Romania 508.JPG

These Fagus are ring barked as described (different times) one is now ready to be harvested for use, the other in another year or so.

Romania 573.JPG

Bilberries doing well in a forest clearing created by felling

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Fagus with F. fommentarius

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The tree hunter my ol mate Rob McBride standing in amongst regrowth from a felled Q. petrea, which made up the majority of this particular woodland.

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Nothing is wasted, the wood stack to the left is strips from the offcuts from milling timber, they will be used for many items, the bark covered outer planks are often used to create fencing boards. The stack further to the rear is produced from pollards and has many uses.

Romania 1032.JPG

This scene shows the high pastures used for hay production, cattle never graze here, they are taken to higher pastures, these hay meadows reserved purely for winter feed production. This produces a rich wildflower habitat where butterflies and many species of Grass hopper thrive.

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Willow pollard close to homestead and a typical Romanian haystack, brought down from the high meadow to be kept close to the overwintering catlle as snow in winter means getting out is impossible, everything is based close to home in preparation for the snow

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There are so many skills to preserve, tapestry is a common theme.

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Even an old Hay fork broken has a use! recycling taken to extremes is a common theme.

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Everything is done for economy of movements, here an Ash (F. excelsior) pollard used to supplement winter hay stocks is right next to the barn the cows are kept in overwinter, keeping transport to a minimum.

Romania 132.JPG

Typical beech regeneration on the mountains
by hamadryad
Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:49 pm
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Re: European beech forests

Heres a few new images of Our Eurpean beech, mainly Epping forest, some from Windsor Great Park and one or two from Knole Park all taken within the last three weeks, I tend to get around a bit! I am very fortunate to live within a short drive of some of Europe's most amazing and ancient woodlands, where man has been the driving force in the creation of unique habitats, the likes of which are rarely seen elsewhere. There are those that say that our European beech, Fagus sylvatica is a fragile beast that cant be pruned, this is of course utter nonsense and the beech is as capable a survivor as any, as youll no doubt see here! True beeches are sensitive and need a little care in management, but as long as they are understood anything is achievable.

pruning trees is not a blanket situation, it is a species specific situation, an Oak or an ash that are high demanding of light require different approaches to the shade tolerant woodland species such as beech, which with their thin bark can be highly sensitive to over exposure to light.

A fine Pollard in Epping forest
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Epping forest is home to 10's of thousands of Beech pollards
epping 505.JPG
defying the laws of gravity is an art!
epping 470.JPG
Very ancient beech probably in excess of 500years with Ganoderma Sp and Perenniporia fraxinea
Epping etc 537.JPG
Epping etc 455.JPG
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Inonotus cuticularis, beech is its favourite host species though this can also be found occasionally on Acer Sp including Acer campestre
Epping etc 406.JPG
A beech tree that I have been stage pollarding as a compromise to felling, the client was feeling the tree was too large for the location and this is just before the second stage as you can see it is responding well
European beech is a fragile genus? yeah right, a natural pollard!
knole and pip etc 239.JPG
A beech freed from forest now filling out to become and open grown specimen.
knole and pip etc 233.JPG
An included bark union long since failed, now occlusion tissues (embryonic) form into re iterative roots due to contact with moist rotting wood rather than exposure to light which may have caused the tissues to differentiate into shoots (retrenchment)
knole and pip etc 067.JPG
Ganadorma sp, probably G. australe aka the southern bracket on ancient beech
windsor pip 843.JPG
The Ganoderma colonised Beech with clear die back and retrenchment, if the tree can shed enough wieght before the ganoderma causes a failure in the main union she may go on for a lot lot longer.
windsor pip 831.JPG windsor pip 796.JPG windsor pip 810.JPG windsor pip 582.JPG windsor pip 586.JPG windsor pip 579.JPG windsor pip 597.JPG
by hamadryad
Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:51 am
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Re: European beech forests

I thought it was time I added a few more English Beeches to this thread.

As you can see in one image sunburn is a common problem, your beech bark disease can also be sunscald if the woodland is thinned too much and in hot weather.

I re inspected some old friends over the weekend, sadly I missed the Laetiporus while it was in its prime, the tree has failed within the last few days the bracket must have been over 50lbs in weight!

In one image you can see the Lion of Buckinghamshire carved into the chalk hills of the Chilterns, beech habitat, this landscape is full of beech woodland
beeches at old amersham 027.JPG croft ireland 073.JPG croft ireland 064.JPG croft ireland 063.JPG croft ireland 062.JPG
by hamadryad
Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:58 pm
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Re: European Chestnut

Some very large Sweet Chestnuts (Castanea sativa) from Croft Castle, Herefordshire, U.K

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ireland 415.JPG
ireland 350.JPG
by hamadryad
Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:58 pm
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Re: mycology and body languages?

I have only just logged into NTS for the first time in ages, duly noted Edward, will ensure the pages are filled!

by hamadryad
Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:14 pm
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