Thursday, 14 January 2016

Dead wood

Fallen Poplar at Highbury Park
Dead wood, in a variety of conditions and circumstances, is an essential feature of a thriving woodland.

A fallen tree is not always a bad situation, providing there's no injury to people or damage to property, a fallen tree in a wooded setting can be viewed as a positive occurrence as long as the timber can be left in situ.

In this instance at Highbury, the tree is safely on the ground and can fall no further. The trunk from hereon will be investigated by a host of creatures including young humans, and will gradually break down through the processes of decay, wear and weathering.

This extract is from the 'Trees For Life' webpage

"The value of dead wood"

"Dead wood (coarse woody debris or CWD) is extremely important to the health of the forest, and this is being increasingly recognised by conservationists. Not only is it an aspect of the process of nutrient cycling, providing a steady, slow-release source of nitrogen, but it is also thought to play a significant role in carbon storage. Fallen logs can also increase soil stability within a woodland."

Check out the website for further information on dead wood
 -http://treesforlife.org.uk/forest/dead-wood/

Candle snuff fungus on hazel logs and dead oak trunk at Highbury.


                                                         Fallen tree with fungus

Thankfully felled trees are retained in parks more often these days and seem to be appreciated for their ecological value. A well decayed horizontal trunk at Highbury is occupied by Lesser Stag Beetles, although the decay is well advanced and will soon be unsuitable for such creatures.


Guidance from Forestry Commission publication 'Life in the Deadwood'
Standing dead trunks at Highbury, crucial for many species. This tree housed a swarm of wild bees a couple of years ago, quite a 'rarity', we were told by the local bee keepers


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