Tree identification

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 SouthernSteve 03 Apr 2021

This was out everywhere today in the woods. Can anyone confirm identification?

 wintertree 03 Apr 2021
In reply to SouthernSteve:

Looks like a willow.  One of the more vigorously growing ones.  Not much of an answer!

 flatlandrich 03 Apr 2021
In reply to SouthernSteve:

Yes, definitely a Willow as Wintertree suggested. Looks like a goat Willow, they are very common and should be flowering around now.  

 SouthernSteve 03 Apr 2021
In reply to flatlandrich:

Thanks - I didn't think the tree looked like a willow – so I am now educated.

In reply to SouthernSteve:

Looks like some kind of willow.

The Woodland Trust has a useful online guide, also available as an app.

 SouthernSteve 03 Apr 2021
In reply to Vanessa Simmons:

Excellent app. Male catkins of the goat willow without doubt. 

 john arran 03 Apr 2021
In reply to SouthernSteve:

The plantNet app I have on my phone is usually pretty much spot on for flowers and trees. It thinks your photo is of an Eared Willow. See screenshot.

In reply to SouthernSteve:

Grey willow, female catkin. I knew generally nowt about this stuff but now on a steep learning curve. Not as easy as I thought. 

Ed: or female goat willow. Think I’ll stick to bird ID !!

Post edited at 00:18
 wintertree 04 Apr 2021
In reply to john arran, SouthernSteve & whoiswillgrigg:

Goat, Grey or Eared?  Hopefully the OP can update the thread with some leaf pictures in a few weeks when they come out, to settle it

One of life’s little mysteries that I’ve not managed to answer with google is why there are so many varieties of Willow, even just in England.

 Doug 04 Apr 2021
In reply to wintertree:

Willows frequently hybridise & identification is often difficult & sometimes isn't really possible. Many years ago I collected a sample of a willow on Ben Alder while doing some botanical survey work for SNH which intrigued me enough to send to the willow specialist at Kew. He wasn't sure but thought it was a cross between 2 species which in turn had crossed with a third (all 3 grew in the corrie).

In reply to Doug:

The sloe - bullace - damson spectrum is interesting (well , to me anyway). I’ve picked almost every size of fruit, which taste sweeter the bigger they get and sourer the smaller they get. And the branches are spinier the smaller they get. 

 wintertree 04 Apr 2021
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

They're also spinier on younger, smaller damson trees than on older ones it seems.  Fascinating how they know when to grow a branch and when to keep it short and spiky.

Have you ever noticed how holly tree leaves seem to know how high they are?  As you go higher up a tree they often seem to tend to a more rounded, less spiky shape which I assume is energetically favourable for them to grow.

Clever buggers, trees.

I think the damson represents the optimal point on the spectrum.  If blanching them to speed up stone removal for a crumble, the resultant liquid if boiled, reduced down and endowed with a little sugar makes an amazing cordial.

Frozen, boiled Victoria plum pulp form a material almost like Pykrete that is next to impossible to melt in a pan.

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