Seed Dispersal by Animals

Preparing the vegetable patch to sow some seed, I found two walnuts seedlings. The neighbourhood grey squirrels were busy all Autumn burying nuts from next-door’s tree, so it’s not such a surprise to find some of them sprouting in the Spring. I put the seedlings into pots to join the Horse Chestnuts from the previous year. I’m not sure if the conkers were brought in by squirrels or the kids, but in the end it’s the same process. Now all I need is to find a big enough space to plant out my growing collection of seedling trees. Neither tree is actually native to UK, both originally coming from SE Europe.

Coral Spot Fungus (#423)

Strong winds brought down many twigs from high up in the large beech tree above the garden. Some of the dead wood had these hard, orange dots that had pushed up through the bark. These “pustules” are from Coral Spot Fungus (Nectria cinnabarina), a common saprophyte growing on dead wood of hardwood trees. Though it starts on the dead wood, it does eventually spread to healthy wood, contributing to the eventual decay of the tree. There were several small insects on the infected wood, many more than on the healthy twigs that had come down. I suppose the trees natural defenses against insects may be weakened by the fungus or (or probably and) the decaying wood has more food available to insects.

#423 Coral Spot Fungus (Nectria cinnabarina)

#423 Coral Spot Fungus (Nectria cinnabarina)