Saturday, 18 February 2017

Lime Aid - Rubies and Gold Cups

It's just past Valentine's Day, which means it's time to give Lime Tree Avenue a bit of love. I've have been doing volunteer work to help keep the wonderful old Lime Trees in this Historic Avenue for a number of years.  I missed last Saturday's session, which was reported by Uckfield FM, in which approximately 10 people worked their way up most of the avenue. This week, there was just the two of us - but we still managed to clear "epicormic growths" (suckers) from the feet of 5 of the most vigorous trees. If all goes to plan, there will be another session on March the 4th from about 9am.

A Lime Trees epicormic growths.
The first tree I tackled had an enormous number of large suckers galloping across the gap towards its neighbours. In the year since we last cleared them, some had grown to about 3 foot tall and as thick as my index finger.  Mercifully most were smaller. 

Wild Arum leaves.
While I was working my through the suckers, I noticed a carpet of delicate Cow Parsley leaves and a few clumps of Wild Arum - but no sign of any flowers yet.

Three Lime Trees - after this year's trim.
Once I had completed my first tree, it was satisfying to look back and see what we had achieved. Then onto the next tree.

Silvery lichen with tiny golden cups.
I couldn't resist collecting some treasure to take home. The suckers have ruby red buds, so a handful of the clippings went into my bag. These were followed by a twig with some Lichen. This is  a silvery, leafy structure made up from a partnership between an algae and a fungus.  If you look carefully at the photo, you can see tiny golden cups, which are the fruiting bodies of this strange cooperative organism. 

Crocuses at the North end
As I was heading home, a stray clump of crocuses were fully open as if to tell me that Spring is nearly here. I am looking forward to seeing the Lime Trees' bright green leaves burst from those ruby buds.


  1. Have you managed to identify the lichen? It looks distinctive. I'm away at the moment without lichen books, but worth looking here:

  2. My best shot is "Parmelina carporrhizans". I've just discovered the last dragon website - it's splendid. I've used quite a bit.