Last time we covered the Common Beech and as I mentioned that Beech can be easily be confused with Hornbeam i though we should take a look at Hornbeam.
Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) leaves
Carpinus betulus has leaves similar to Beech trees but they lack the fine hairs found around the edge of Beech leaves. Hornbeam leaves are double-toothed (teeth on teeth) and have 10-13 pairs of close veins which are suck below the surface of the leaf. Carpinus betulus have catkins which are displayed as a curtain of yellow in spring and the fruits are nuts which are partially surrounded by a three pointed leaf. This leaf, or bract, distinguishes the common Hornbeam from the other Hornbeam species. The fruits mature in autumn, of which there are plenty. This makes the tree vigorous in terms of regeneration.
The trees have smooth grey barks which over time develop in to fluted trunks with deep fissures and shallow ridges. It is often found alongside Oak trees and sometimes beech but normally much smaller than either of these. It can grow to 15-25 meters but rarely exceeds 30m.
The leaves are dense and the tree prefers shade. However because of the dense growth it is often used as a hedge. The wood is heavy and hard with a high calorific content making it ideal for chopping blocks, tools or firewood as it burns hot and slow.
Common Hornbeam was traditionally pollarded for it timber and now ancient pollards provide refuges for wildlife. They were pollarded for some time in Epping Forest where they remain a dominant species.
Carpinus betulus catkin
Carpinus betulus fruits
In time Hornbeam develop the most amazing looking fluted trunks
Today we bring you some instructional videos on how not to fell a tree. The first on is quite scary. Its a big tree and should no have been felled from the ground, there was simply no where for it to go without risk of damage to property. I would love to know what was going through their mind, but I suppose cowboys have a different thought process from the rest of us.
Unfortunately there is not a part two but the lady who posted the videos writes “Things that happened after this video: they leaned a ladder against the trunk of the tree and started cutting from the MIDDLE of the tree. The chainsaw blade then got stuck in the tree. I had to leave after that but when I got back home, there was a stack of logs where the tree used to be”
You can tell what will happen in the next video but is also useful instruction on how not to cut down a tree. It appears the tree is weighted (or leaning back) in the direction of the house. Ideally some wedges or a winch should have been used here to ensure the tree went in the right direction.
In my eyes our third video today takes some beating. I am not sure what they were thinking or where they thought the truck would go.
At least they did not have to load the truck to remove the tree from site.
If you are unsure how to safely remove a tree you should contact your local arborist who can advise the best solution for your needs. Your local arborist should have all the equipment and knowledge to deal with any work and should also be back by insurance. We carry £5 million of public liability insurance to give our clients peace of mind.
Please send us a link to your favourite tree related video by using the comment for below