Monday, 8 November 2010

Autumn Beeches

While this autumn hasn't quite matched the incendiary colours of 2009, there's been much to enjoy.  The Beech trees (Fagus sylvatica) have been particularly fine. 

Beeches aren't native to most of Britain but have been introduced for a long time, possibly at first by the Romans.  They do well in this part of Aberdeenshire where they thrive on well drained soils with good water supply.  They were planted extensively by landowners following the Enclosure Acts of the 18th Century; this row of trees on the Monymusk Estate may have been planted at around this time

Close up, the leaves show beautiful colours at this time of year as they turn from green to yellow and then to rich russet.

Backlit by low autumnal sunshine, the yellow leaves seem to glow. A walk in a Beech wood in these conditions is a pure joy.

This young tree near to our house looks like a firework exploding from a clump of Birches.  Young trees like this seem to retain their dead leaves on the branches through until early Spring, where older trees shed theirs.

But it's not all gold - at the base of a Beech tree in Paradise Wood on the River Don; again on the Monymusk estate, mosses help to retain moisture and give a Wood Sorrel (Oxalis acetosella) a place to flourish.


  1. Nice demonstration of the autumn change in the second shot and variety in the first one.