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The Tuesday tree: green sycamore

April 24, 2012

In this strangely precocious spring, it is the sycamores that have galloped ahead of the other trees (can a tree gallop?) in putting out their leaves. While the limes and oaks have a light green mist over their branches and the beeches are still deciding whether to start, the sycamores look as if it’s June already. These photos were taken on the last day of March.

This particular tree is a wonderful mature specimen. It has had plenty of room to grow out as well as up. Like many such sycamores, it has a pleasing shape with a substantial presence.

This sycamore shares a field with a standing stone, as you can see in the photo below. We don’t know how many centuries the stone has stood there: sometimes I wonder about the changes it has witnessed to the landscape, as the seasons swirl around it like water around a rock in a river. (Once some archaeologists came to excavate the soil around the stone. They were very excited to find the skull of a horse. Evidence of a pagan Celtic cult? No, some estate workers had buried it there for a little joke at the expense of the learned archaeologists!) If stones could talk…

I think that my favourite aspect of a mature tree like this sycamore is the generous green space it creates under its spreading boughs. By the end of March, this one was so far advanced that already you could find that wonderful dappled light on its trunk, and an inviting shade in which to sit for a while on a sunny spring day.

You might enjoy Four seasons of a sycamore. There are more photos of the standing stone in Winter solstice and in First snow.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. hmunro permalink
    April 24, 2012 6:25 pm

    You took these photos on the last day of MARCH? Good Lord! It has indeed been a precocious spring! I loved the story about the buried horse skull. Perhaps that’s why the sycamore in question galloped ahead of the other trees? 🙂 Thanks for another lovely post, DB.

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      April 25, 2012 11:51 am

      Hah, I love the equine connection you’ve made! 🙂
      Honestly, I have never seen a spring like this one. April has been miserably cold and wet, but still astonishingly green.

  2. April 25, 2012 11:10 pm

    Loved the archaeologist-confounding skull!

    Another Susan Hill book to recommend – ‘Family’. I read it and re-read it when my mother was dying. It is uplifting and powerful.

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      April 28, 2012 6:58 pm

      Thanks, Linda.

  3. April 25, 2012 11:17 pm

    What a truly magnificent tree, DB! I love sycamores as they remind me of my childhood home, where there were several large sycamores in the field below the house. Such strong trees and here so very green at a ridiculously early date.

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      April 28, 2012 6:59 pm

      I used to be a bit sniffy about sycamores, but I have learned to appreciate them very much, living here.

  4. May 5, 2012 10:56 pm

    It certainly is amazing that the sycamore has got so much growth on it already. Ours, in our garden, is just starting to leaf. Sycamores’ first leaves have the most beautiful yellowy lime colour, don’t you think? I wish more trees had that colour. I look out for it each year.


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