Monday 24.05.2021 Rings and broom, falling and felling

It’s still unseasonably cold I have a meeting this morning with T the Tree, he has invited me to help him make a bracken ring. We meet at Sunview East and he chains his bike to the council fence. Walking into the park we make several diversions to inspect his trees, he tells me about them and the mulching and keeping them safe from strimmers and path beaters and strangling competitive growth, and the threat of mildew, should the collars be high or low? Should they be tramped down or aerated, what trees should be going in, I wonder about Willows, Hazels and Oaks as they are all doing a good job at seeding themselves, we both agree on the sycamore which is sprouting up everywhere and in the glade is an army of them, so reluctantly we spend a bit of time uprooting some of the many saplings, there are a couple of elder beauties here including the Y tree so it feels not a little cruel…perhaps in the wild they would weed themselves out? I find a sycamore can live for 400 years, it can grow to 35 metres, and the real name for its helicopter fruits is the beautiful Samara. I already knew to identify our native version, the Field Maple by its wide legged samara to the more angular sycamore samara form, our native tree is also smaller. Sycamore is favoured for the carving of spoons because the fine grained wood is resistant to staining, the tree is also resistant to pollution and so is often planted in urban areas. So this tree is a very giving, as well as a very fertile tree. T believes he is helping the trees along by planting many and that they will sort themselves out. I wonder if it would be good to plant trees that are not so plentiful here to give them a bit of a chance T shows me his Crab Apples and Spindles (elusive he’s not really sure how to identify these) there are Bird cherries and plenty of Hollies as well as the abundance of Oaks, Alders and Willows… it’s a forest he is helping along. By now we have arrived at the ring and we decide to go up, T confesses he has been procrastinating, and I thought it was just me. We follow the line of spurge and the hill is sheer, I don’t realise how sheer until I become stuck spreadeagled and the only way out of this position is a slither down without foothold, T wonders if it’s psychological, and maybe it is, when I’m looking down a sheer side of a glacial valley carved out of sandstone and into a stony river bed some way down, even if it is a little river in a small valley. So I slither down gracefully as I can while T continues to roll the bracken. I take some shots of him from below and later from across the valley. Some people gather and shout up to him, doing a bit of tidying up they say.


I took some pics from the crescent moon cairn that has appeared on the ridge

The sky is blue and the broom is yellow on the path home the witches of last years gorse burnings still gather, skeletal on the heath.

I come back later and see the Swamp Cypresses are greening up. I have got a call from I with a video attached, showing tree felling in the Glen, I can’t make out form the video where is the spot but I guess it’s on the northern path, sure enough I find it and see its the exact spot where i stopped yesterday confused by the forms of the dead tree frames…I wonder was this a premonition.

Published by @julforres

Julie Forrester, artist based in Cork City Ireland

Leave a Reply