When I joined Lucy’s Tree Following Project in February I rather wished I had known in advance because I would have planted some conkers. In a hopeful moment I went to look under the tree by the roadside and found some unprepossessing blackened conkers in the undergrowth, brought them home and stuck them in a pot. Out came sprouts and now they have grown into good little seedlings.
I though it would be interesting to draw the development so put another one in some vermiculite. That too sprouted, but so quickly that I missed the early stages of growth.
Today, outside in the sun and showers I sketched it. Two small compound leaves rise up from a split in the snaky root which has developed rootlets. Then a shower caught the ink.
Chestnut seedlings sketches and old conkers: A4 pen, ink and rain.
A small watercolour sketch stayed dry. Shame…a shower might just have improved it.
The optimistic new Horse Chestnut Tree
I am almost packed. We are off to Amsterdam…Hurrah….
It’s the week to sign in the Lucy’s Tree Following project.
The Chestnut Trees are developing so very quickly now.
There is a light green haze of leaves around them and some of the more advanced trees have a flower here and there.
The flower spikes are lengthening and the individual florets becoming more spaced out.
Florets coming into bloom from the base up.
I made one drawing of a more developed twig with a flower spike still in bud.
My flagging model after a couple of hours
The pencil drawing A3 And a couple of conkers I rescued from the verge mowing.
A loose sketch of the two sprouting conkers.
They only have long tap roots so far. They seem to grow upside down. To my great surprise the sad looking old black conkers that I optimistically planted in a pot outside are sprouting.
A new leaf is about the emerge. Spring!
The Height of a Tree On Saturday I co-opted Chris to help me try to calculate the height of the Church Field Horse Chestnut Tree. There are various ways, I had not realised so many. A handy guide from WikiHow gives some instructions. “Measure a Tree” I opted for a very simple one of asking a friend to stand by the tree.
So here is Chris standing next to the tree. With a bit of rough calculation we think the tree is about 58 ft high. It is also interesting to see a 6 ft figure by the tree. The human figure really gives an idea of the scale of these magnificent trees.
Two More Sticky Bud Developments
I’m trying to catch the bud development of the Horse Chestnut twig. I have two buds beginning to split, which I drew today. As the sticky scales develop, and open up, the first four leaves begin to show at the very tip. They are furry, covered in white fine downy hair and tightly curled up. It’s a fascinating contrast of smooth, sticky, shiny scales with the downy hairs of the emerging leaves .
Watercolour and pencil sketch: 8 x 5 inches
Watercolour and pencil sketch: 9 x4 inches
I am keeping all the Tree Following posts together on another blog: www.followingtrees.blogspot.com It’s going to be nice to see the continuity through the year.
Also it’s easier for the other tree followers to find. If you are taking part, this is the week to sign in with Lucy. There is an update box once a month on the 7th which will stay open for a week.
There are lots of people, not just from the UK, taking part. It will be fascinating.