The Outer Space team and volunteers had a great day learning all about the trees present at St Catherine’s Hospital (now Woodfield Park). These included ash, maple, lime, sycamore, horse chestnut, hazel, elm and hawthorne, to name a few.
It was important that we could all identify sycamore, as this is what we would be removing in the afternoon. Sycamore and maple have very similar leaves, but are easy to distinguish if you know how to recognise their buds.
We felled some of the smaller sycamore trees and removed some saplings, making sure that we took out the roots. Sycamore is a very successful tree, sometimes too successful, so it has to be managed as its leaves block out a lot of light. This means that the bulbs that we planted last month will hopefully result in an array of colour in the spring, due to that extra bit of sunlight reaching the woodland floor.
We kept all of the wood and cuttings on site, making habitat piles – perfect for hibernating hedgehogs and other small mammals!
We would like to thank the volunteers that came to lend a hand. We will be back next month to do similar work. In the meantime, the Woodland Trust has a great online tree guide as well as a tree ID app, so you can have a go at identifying some of the trees in your local area.