Flaming June

Summer at last.

But although June can be glorious it’s often a disappointing month with overcast sky and a downpour at Wimbledon.   ‘Flaming June’ either way.

Our trees can have disappointing and annoying habits too.  In this area there are more pines than in most of the rest of England and we are all familiar with cones the size of grenades that appear to drop without warning from a great height.  Leaves, flowers, fruit and twigs are all natural products from trees that eventually fall and need to be swept up.  Some trees have the ability to send up suckers or seedlings all over the lawn, and then there are the effects of the visitors to the trees.

Pigeons resting on a branch over the drive don’t move over before they release their guano.  And aphids suck up the juices from leaves just to extract the proteins in them so the rest is secreted out as sticky honey dew and can waste the time we’ve spent cleaning the car.  This sticky sap is quickly turned black by yeasts, compounding the inconvenience.

But trees affect us in many positive ways too.  They have a positive impact on the incidence of asthma, skin cancer and stress related illnesses by filtering polluted air, shading out solar radiation and providing an attractive and calming environment to live in.  Trees screen and shade us, and mop up water after storms.  They hold the soil together and support wildlife close to our homes.

The balance between curse and blessing can be difficult to maintain.  It requires planning and patience.  Sometimes we must give way to the trees, but more often we push them back to accommodate our needs and desires.  It’s relatively easy to get rid of a ‘problem’ tree without realising what benefits it provides.  The challenge is to ensure the decision we make is an informed one, seeing all sides of the situation.

Article written by Steve Cox on June 12, 2011