Sunday 23 October 2011

Sunday 23 October

Autumn is definitely moving along now. The larch trees here have turned golden, and the paths through the woods are now lined with a soft yellow needle carpet. It's very pretty except when you are cycling and the needles end up coating your chain, gears and brakes! Larch is the only deciduous conifer we have, losing its needles every autumn and growing new ones in the spring. This makes it a lovely tree for the landscape as you get new bright green needles in spring as well as the autumn golds.

Golden tufted needles of larch.

The history of the larch tree in Britain is intertwined with the Dukes of Atholl. The Second Duke introduced European larch to his estates, for landscaping and beauty. The Fourth Duke realised the larch's potential for boat building, as it is very resistant to rot. He had more than 15 million larch trees planted in his woods around Dunkeld. During the Seventh Duke's time just over 100 years ago, the Hybrid larch was born on Atholl Estates near what is now the Hilton Hotel. This is a hybrid between the European Larch and the Japanese larch and is disease resistant and grows straight. It is the larch that is used in forestry still today.

No comments:

Post a Comment