I went to visit Mono, my tree, an Acer pictum, twice during February, both times on grey wintery rainy days so it’s not looking at its most attractive in my photos. But that did mean I wasn’t distracted by its foliage and instead had a good look at the tree’s structure.
As you can see, Mono has its roots firmly planted in the ground. It stands right next to a tarmac roadway but, luckily, that is only used by park vehicles and employees, and their driving and parking nearby doesn’t appear to have affected the tree. At the moment the grass around its base is somewhat sparse but that may change as the weather warms.
Mono’s trunk is thick and solid. It’s difficult to see the trunk’s texture as most of the surface is covered in lichens, mosses, ferns and liverworts – I’ll look at those in more detail in a future monthly post. The trunk is straight to about four feet, perhaps more, then, rather than maintain a single main trunk, it branches out into a multitude of thick and thin trunks, branches, and twigs.
I’m not sure what the smallest twiglets are that you can in these photos – perhaps the remnants of last year’s flowers / fruit. We shall have to wait and see. There are no leaves yet, though the buds are thick, with a slightly purplish hue, and look near to bursting.
Mono is, I think, a favourite of the local birds, of which there are many. While I was surveying the tree and taking my photos, a Robin serenaded me loudly – though, in truth, it was more likely to be advertising itself to any potential lady friends and announcing to all and sundry that this was its territory / tree. A Goldcrest was also dotting about, foraging for the tiniest of insects – these little birds are never still, hence my lousy photo of it.
After a recent blast of extreme cold and snow, the weather now seems to be warming towards spring so it will be interesting to see what changes March will bring to my beautiful tree.