Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Bark Damage

Once when doing a tree survey in inner city Dublin in 2006 I was amazed to see that over 80% of the trees surveyed had severe bark damage. Upon looking further at trees all across Dublin I seen the same problem. Its a result of bad planting, bad pruning, bad tree care, lawn mover damage, and, and, and.
These wounds allow pathogens like fungal diseases to enter and the tree will weaken and die. The life cycle of these trees will be short indeed. It costs money to plant them, it will mean more and more trees will have to be planted to replace them. Look carefully at almost all trees 10 years old and less now and you will see these same problems; then please ask your local politicians why is this allowed to happen and to continue, as it will. Those in charge of tree care should be ashamed.


I believe that Phenology was the main method of time recognition until recently.
The word is derived from old Greek and means "to show, to bring to light, to make appear".
Phenology is the study of appearances like flowering, fruiting, insect and bird births and of course the dates of bud burst and leaf fall. From earliest times to recently these have remained similar and were to be observed by all. At Samhain most life in the Northern Hemisphere appears to die; leaves, fruits and most if not all natural growth, so it was indeed a time of the dead. At Imbolc life begins to stir again and this is evident. The first lengthen of the days happens then. At Bealtaine life literally explodes and all growth accelerates and reaches its peak. At Lughnasa, all growth comes to fruition and tails off. Its the time when the earth produces abundance. Then it all dies again at Samhain. These are exact time of Phenology and may be the origins of the four old indigenous festivals.


Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Tara Trees

 Tara Ash

Fallen Leaf


Hedges being removed, needlessly in Meath, in September. These hedges are on a farm that produces beef cattle and so this is needless and will bring nothing to the farmer doing it. It is also under our laws legal

Derver Tree

Fungi on Rath Lugh

Letter to the Meath Chronicle

Sir: I was glad to read in your paper that Halloween is coming home back home to Meath; to The Hill of Ward: Tlachtgha, where the first Samhain fires were supposed to have been lit in memory of a Druids daughter. Myth says she was raped and killed on the hill there. The subsequent fires were lit from kindling’s of trees held sacred to the Druids and these kindling’s “an Bruane Samhain” certainly included Ash kindling’s, then as now our most common tree. Trees were at the heart of all of Meath’s many myths.
I wonder then why there is little or no mention of Charala Fraxinea, the disease now threatening our Ash Trees. It was confirmed in Limerick last week, in England too and it has caused the loss of half of the Ash trees in Denmark. The English approach when compared to Irelands could hardly be more different. There it has made the headlines in many of the English papers, The Woodland Trust has declared an emergency and England readies itself to introduce emergency measures like the banning of all Ash product and the biggest tree cull in history; yet in Ireland it is hardly even mentioned. Why? Most people still don’t know anything about it, nor about any measures being taken; if they exist? Ash is perhaps our most common tree, it has accompanied us through our long history, it was held sacred at Tara once, Ash trees were the Bile trees of antiquity; The Fir Bile was once a name given to us and the Ash served us well; materially, spiritually and environmentally so why then do we ignore its plight now? Do our political and trading elites wish ignorance upon us? I may be a bit green yes, but I believe that these trees would not do this to us... ignore a deadly peril approaching us; if they could.
November 2012.
John Farrelly.

The Ash In Danger

Bile. The Ash In Danger. The Irish bile were sacred ash trees, found around old Raths and wells and from them the Fir Bile, "men of the tree," were named. The lives of kings and chieftains appear to have been connected to them; under their shadow they were blessed and inaugurated.
The Religion Of The Ancient Celts. J. A. MacCulloch.

REPS. Go out into the Irish countryside, either now or after Christmas and you will see hedges being cut.
They are being cut under health and safety laws, without need mostly, or under the misnamed government REPS Scheme. Hedge cutting is almost a mania now. The chosen tool is often the flail mover, easy to buy and maintain, which leaves mangled broken stumps in its wake. Flails are banned under REPS guidelines, but used anyway? I have long tried to discover how reducing our hedgerows to stumps; how removing berry and food supply, removing shade, shelter, nesting sites and habitat, removing seasonal beauty etc can be considered environmental protection but I have failed.  Teagasc; the governing body that oversees REPS don’t reply. The Department Of Agriculture And Forestry do not reply. The Department Of The Environment do not reply. Most of our environmental groups and movements do not reply etc, etc.
In fairness to them all, I do not think they could reply. The truth is that The REPS Scheme is simply a way of funneling money to farmers, under the guise of a green coat.

Five. Prof Brasier says that since 2011, at least five new problems have appeared in Britain, each one of them potentially catastrophic in terms of tree health. Among these is Chalara fraxinea, another is the Asian longhorn beetle, which can infect many different species, including sycamore, elm, horse chestnut, willow, poplar, birch and some fruit trees. These beetles may arrive in wooden pallets and packing crates.
Another problem is the Oak Processionary Moth, Thaumetpooea processionea recently discovered in London trees. Then there is Sudden Oak Death and The bacteria killing Chestnut Trees. Also something is killing the great Plane trees too, there have been mayor deaths of Plane trees in France etc, etc.


European Plant Protection Agency

European Crop Protection Agency

Posts 2.