A pheonix tree

In a hidden corner of Bransdale in the North York Moors, there is a quite remarkable tree. A multi-stemmed, partially collapsed Small-leaved Lime (Tilia cordata).

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According to a biological survey carried out by the National Trust, it’s very unlikely to have been planted here and so, is of particular significance.

Why?

  • The species is found in places which have had a long ecological continuity such as ancient woods, old hedgebanks and on crags and cliffs.
  • It is mainly a southern species, a relict from warmer times.
  • It reaches the northern limit of its British range in Yorkshire and the Lake District, so this tree is one of the most northerly native specimens!
  • It is generally only capable of natural regeneration by vegetative means; it is therefore unable to colonise new sites.
  • However, the tree having now regenerated by layering (due to a recent collapse of the original tree) means a new generation of small-leaved lime have been created.

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