An ancient oak tree

I noticed some interesting things about a tree we passed on a day out in the Lake District. There was moss growing on the trunk of the tree and presumably on at least one branch. Some ferns were growing on a branch and on the trunk of the tree. In our garden that ferns usually grow in areas where moss has already become established. (I once studied the growth of a fern and wrote a post about it.)

It was impossible for me to stand far enough away from the tree to fit all of it in a single shot. In January the only leaves were a few from last year, which had not fallen to the ground.


2 thoughts on “An ancient oak tree

  1. This is extremely interesting. I have never seen ferns grow on a tree, though in our local nature reserve there are a lot of mossy logs and some moss on tree. We also have noticed a large number of trees nearby us with mistletoe growing on them – again, used to be rare. (Also ivy – rampant and to my mind horrible! ) I wonder how much this fern growth has to do with climate change? Alternatively, what nourishment was the fern using – unlike mistletoe, or orchids, they don’t plug into the tree – or do they?

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    1. In our damp climate, moss and ferns are invasive taking over any wall or patch of ground. I didn’t think about the question you raise about nutrients. There cannot be much goodness on a wall!
      In the ground ferns put down long roots. I am discouraging them in the garden. They are best removed when small.
      I shall research this topic further. Thank you for commenting, Mari.


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