Long Eaton - West Park
w/e 13 August 2017
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

West Park title

Part 03 - Includes Trees 14 to 22

Route Plan on Information Board

This third part of the series following Erewash Borough Council's Tree Trail in West Park crosses the middle of the park and continues along the south side as shown by the pink line above. Since starting the series I've picked up an updated leaflet which although listing most of the trees in the original version, shows slightly different numbering. Due to some trees being removed and others planted, some necessitated by vandalism, neither leaflet matches exactly what we found on the ground so for that reason I've decided to stick with the original leaflet and make the best of it. Number 13 in Part 03 was the missing Handkerchief Tree so we'll start this part with number 14.

Broadleaf Cockspurthorn

Number 14 on the Trail is a Broadleaf Cockspurthorn, a tough spiny bush or small tree according to the leaflet. It also states the in autumn the leaves change through yellow, orange and copper to dark red but at the moment they as can be seen here, green.
Common Ash

A Common Ash stands at position 15 and is one of the last trees to come into leaf. A native tree it can reach heights of 40m and is the subject of much folklore. It was thought to have medicinal and mystical powers whilst Vikings believed the world was held in the branches of a gigantic Ash.
Silver Maple

Next on the Trail at number 16 is a Silver Maple, this species being a native of North America that is a fast growing tree sprouting from its base to form lots of stems if it is not pruned. It is also the source of sap that can be made into maple syrup, 70% of the world's output coming from the province of Quebec. No wonder the maple leaf is the symbol of Canada.
Silver Birch

Now according to both leaflets the next tree on the Trail irrespective of their numbers is a Purple-leaved Plum followed by a Silver Birch. The fact is there are two Silver Birch trees either side of the path before the Plum and at position 18, if there ever was a Silver Birch there, there is now no sign of it. However wherever it stands the Silver Birch is easily identified by its silvery white trunk and in spring it is covered with yellow green catkins.
Purple-leaved Plum

The aforementioned Purple-leaved Plum at position 17 is also easily identified by its purple leaves and in spring it bears pink buds that open to white flowers before turning to the purple leaves.
Sweet Gum

This sounds like a pop chart countdown but back on track at number 19 and complete with identification post is a Sweet Gum tree. Introduced from Mexico as an ornamental tree it can grow to 25m high and has bright autumn colours of scarlet, deep red, lemon and purple leaves. Obviously we're here at the wrong time of year!
Single Leaf Ash

The next tree (number 20) growing to a similar height as the Sweet Gum is a Single Leaf Ash which will top the Gum tree by just a couple of metres. As the name suggests it is a variant of the Common Ash having single rather than compound leaves.
Missing Maidenhair

An identification post marks the position of an example of what is said to be the oldest tree in the world - a Maidenhair Tree at position 21. Maidenhair Trees are living fossils of what was present when dinosaurs roamed the planet but sadly this specimen has gone the same way as the extinct beasts.
Cappadocian Maple

The final tree (number 22) in this part caused a little bit of consternation when we were on site. There was no identification post and at first glance with "helicopters" on the branches we thought it might be some sort of Sycamore. It is in fact a Cappadocian Maple.
Twisting Branches

The leaves point to the fact that it is a Maple, it was the "helicopters" that caused the confusion but re-reading the leaflet it states that it has "a broad, rounded shape with a short trunk and twisting branches." Grown for ornamental reasons and reaching a height of 24m its name is derived from the mountainous central region of Asia Minor which today is known better as Turkey.
West Park Index
Forward to Part 04

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