Monday, 12 November 2012


Back in 1987, there was a hurricane in the South East of England, which felled six of the seven famous oaks from which the town gets its name.  They were replaced soon after but unfortunately, shortly after that took place they were killed by some vandals.  Idiots, i hope i hear you cry.  Well, the time has come to reveal to the world, or rather the homoeopathic dilution of the planet's population reading this blog, that sadly i know who those people were.  I won't be drawn further except to say that they weren't anarchists but were both members of the Socialist Workers' Party, which says it all, i think.

Moving swiftly on, as this is water under the bridge now and i expect there's a statute of limitations on arboricide, i should mention a crime which was taken very seriously in days of yore:  ringbarking.  In case you don't know, this is where the trunk of a tree has the bark and underlying layer of vessels carrying sap and water removed all round, which kills the tree in the same way as ash dieback does - no more water or minerals get further than the ring and the tree dies of thirst.  The Liverpool Care Pathway for trees in other words.  This is something which i would assiduously avoid, and for that reason i eschew most bark- or cambium-based herbal remedies.  Luckily though, trees have more to offer than their roots, bark, cambium or timber.

So here's the video:

The trees mentioned are:

Betula alba - the silver birch.  Parts used:  Leaves.
Tilia cordata - linden tree.  Parts used:  Leaves and fruit.
Sambucus nigra - elder.  Parts used:  leaves, cambium, blossom, berries.  Mostly edible but some parts are poisonous.
Aesculus hippocastanum - horse chestnut.  Parts used:  leaves, nuts.  Poisonous.
Crataegus oxyacanthoides - common hawthorn.  Parts used:  leaves, berries.
Sorbus aucuparia - rowan.  Parts used:  berries, sap.

Incidentally, this video failed to post on Facebook, so far as i can tell, this morning, so i ended up having to post it anyway.  Another video should appear tomorrow morning, the hundredth as it happens, then it'll be Sophie Gray's birthday.