Tree Following: August

The end of summer is beginning, and it is only the middle of August! Some would say it never really started but on Parkland Walk yesterday, when visiting the sycamore I am “following”, I noticed senescent leaves were lying around. Maybe the dry months London has experienced has influenced this (though it’s been rainy in the past few days).

A new observation is the onset of Tar Spot, Rhytisima acerinum. This would have started in spring, but has only become obvious now.  There doesn’t appear to be much of it. I wonder if the powdery mildew I noted in June’s post was actually the development of this fungal infection. Tar Spot can cause early leaf fall, but the leaves I’ve seen scattered around don’t bear any of the blotches typical of this pathogen, so I’m not so sure it’s the reason for the discarded foliage. For those of you who like crisp, clear images, I wasn’t going to include this photo.. but I kinda liked the impressionism of it!

IMG_1531

Anything else to report? Well, there is new graffiti on the new graffiti, but I won’t give the vandals any credence by taking any photographs because it’s mindless, insulting stuff. There’s also a bit of damage to the exposed roots, and the wounds look fresh. I suspect this is an extension of the vandalism; somebody idly chipping away at the bark with a sharp object. What else will this remarkable tree have to put up with..?

More next time… and other trees to look up on the Loose and Leafy blog.

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