The Tuesday tree: an impostor exposed
All through the summer, we have walked past this stand of mixed evergreens with barely a second glance. One tree is perhaps a little lighter green than the others, but hardly enough to merit comment.
Come November, however, and the impostor finds itself revealed. A conifer like its neighbours, it is not an evergreen: it is a deciduous Larch, whose needles betray it with a golden glow before dropping.
In this part of Scotland there are vast numbers of European larches, thanks to the large scale plantings instigated by the Dukes of Atholl in the eighteenth century. This particular specimen is probably a Japanese larch, however, which is widely grown as a commercial timber crop. Both kinds turn golden yellow at the end of the year, lighting up the November hillsides; so we don’t mind at all that one has infiltrated the Douglas firs and spruce near the castle.
See also: too many trees