Thursday, 20 September 2012

London Plane Tree (20 SEP 2012)

So we're back to autumn ....

Around this time last year, I posted photos of this london plane tree. I didn't know its name or even recognise it as a particular species - it was just my beloved tree which had always been there, as long as I can remember. 

I had visited in July to observe what had occurred since spring - the foliage was in it's prime and the bright red immature seed-heads had turned brown already. I didn't expect much to change before the next season, unfortunately I was mistaken.
 
 
 
It wasn't till I started participating in Donna's meme that I really noticed the details, how the seed clusters hung from their unbreakable stalks for over a year, the difference between generations undetectable, each hoping for a breeze to carry potential offspring to a patch of moist soil as far away as possible. I had never watched out for the leaves to turn yellow one by one before they fell to the ground into kickable heaps.
 
In July, a photo revealed that one branch was growing into another. I scanned the whole tree, but couldn't find any other interferences. This solitary incident was somewhat disturbing, but I didn't think too much about it at the time, convincing myself that it was normal for haphazard branches to thrust forth blindly and then snap off when stronger ones resisted.
 
 

My life before had been about getting things done, ticking off endless lists, not sparing time to absorb what surrounded me.  However, the lists have been lost for a while now and all I have done since is look for signs : autumn leaves, the first primulas and small white butterflies.
 
I retraced the steps taken at the end of winter beneath bare branches, from the extreme right branch towards the trunk. Certainly more shelter was offered this time, but was that because the tree had transformed or I ?




 
 
... then I turned around and approached the older tree, the one in the depth of the park where I hadn't ventured before this year.



It pointed a branch like a crooked finger as if to tell me to look into myself, and raised its arm towards the future, while its bark showed me to face what life had in store.



or maybe it was telling me to ...

 
 
 
... be strong.
 
 
 


 Today I'm linking up with Donna Abel's meme : Seasonal Celebrations
...   and Lucy & the tree followers at Loose and Leafy.

©Copyright 2012 b-a-g. All rights reserved. Content created by b-a-g for http://experiments-with-plants.blogspot.com/2012/09/london-plane-tree-20-sep-2012.html
 

13 comments:

Donna@Gardens Eye View said...

B-A-G this is a fabulous post...one of deep reflection through these magnificent trees. I always look forward to your seasonal posts about the plane trees and was grateful you were able to write what I am sure was a difficult post. I thank you for this truly amazing post!

Mark and Gaz said...

The introduction of plane tree along the streets and park of London has made a huge difference through the years. No more dingy and sooty air because of them.

Stacy said...

Old trees have so clearly weathered so many storms and cold spells that they do seem to have messages (or at least morals) for us. Who are we to tell them that they're wrong? Pay attention to your tree(s)! Beautiful photos, b-a-g. I can feel the weight of that old plane tree from here.

Kalantikan said...

Wow b-a-g, it is amazing how a tree touched you to reflect and sent you some meanings.I still remember your previous post about this, the tree actually looks eerie to me, with those gnarled trunks as if they suffered a lot in younger days. But you are right, as the younger branches don't look the same as the old ones, they have moved on, and they already are now exposed to better conditions. The crooked and gnarled barks are now smooth and shiny, as if saying "time will change, ours might still be in the future". Life will be better next time! haha. lovely. Now, going back to reality, I saw a fruit and leaves looking like that in Strasbourg, France, but the tree is just erect unlike that. Someone told me it is a species of chestnut, but poisonous.

Alberto said...

Hi BAG! You really are bringing that into life with your posts about it. You should give it a name, Even though you should decide if you see it like a him or a her before... I see both: a caring mother as well as a strong and handsome man.
For sure it is a little famous as people around the world read about it!
We have 3 pines growing in the middle of the lanes of an highway here. They have a profile on Facebook too!

HolleyGarden said...

What a reflective post, with lovely writing. I think trees are such beauties, and so long-lived, and so strong, they do that to us, if we stop and take the time to really look.

gardenwalkgardentalk.com said...

It is a beautiful tree. I love it in every season.

Alistair said...

Glad to have you back b-a-g. Those trees are just amazing and your sentiments are inspiring.

linniew said...

A wise old tree. I loved this poetic post. An autumn hug to you b-a-g. --L

Carolyn said...

Your photos are great. The branches of the tree reaching out look like an octopus's arms. And you sound like you've been visited by one of the ghosts in the Christmas Carol pointing the way to go. Trees do magical things.

Janet/Plantaliscious said...

What a fabulous post, really captures the magic of trees in all their glorious best. Great photos too.

b-a-g said...

Thanks Janet, Stacy, Holley, Donna GWGT, Carolyn & Alastair - It was impossible to take a photo to show how truly majestic these trees are.

Thanks Donna GEV - it was a pleasure to join in again. I'll post the last of the series in December.

Thanks Mark & Gaz - Hopefully the trunks soak up a lot of pollution, as most of the trees lining the streets around here have all their branches cut off.

Thanks for making me smile Andrea -It seems that you can hear what the trees are saying better than I! By the way, don't mistake plane tree seed clusters for chestnuts, there is no nut inside.

Thanks for the idea Alberto - but I can't name them, it would spoil the magic somehow. I don't do Facebook so I can't check-out your famous trees.

Thanks for the virtual hug Linnie!

Wildgardener said...

That really is a fantastic tree. A tree with personality (or whatever personality is when you take the person out of it!)

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