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Exeat: Day 123/84: Henry's Monterey Pines create a stir and commitment ...

Henry's beachcombing yields fruits One of those delights in life. On the beach at Weymouth Henry found a collection of pine cones and brought them home to see what might happen next. The evidence is in the pictures below ...two small trees are going to grow; and Henry's determined they'll go with him withersoever he roams .. Julian's already been detailed to take care whilst he's at university starting in 5 years time. I suggest an apprenticeship instead in tree farming. They were determined to discover they were Weymouth Pines ..but they aren't. Avril's tree book suggests they must be Monterey Pines which although native to just the Monterey coast in California have been growing here in England for centuries particularly in Cornwall. They grow at low altitudes for up to 80/90 years. Their botanical name is pinus radiata, a vigorous evergreen conifer making a large tree to 30m/ 100' or more and developing a broad rounded crown with maturity. It has dense dark green needles in threes and persistent conical-ovoid cones to 15cm in length. Once established the plant can thrive in either moist or dry soil but regular supplemental watering is necessary early after planting. Soil textures may be loam to sandy, acidic to slightly alkaline in pH, ideally growing in full to partial sun.

Below we've got a fully grown specimen and to the right a small plantation in The New Forest in Hampshire

Below next are examples of a Pine glade and a shoreline in Cornwall. And finally a forest fire and an elegant artist's impression. Pinus Radiata is adapted to cope with stand-killing fire disturbance. Its cones are serotinous which means they remain closed until opened by the heat of a forest fire; their abundant seeds are then discharged to regenerate on the burned forest floor. The cones may also burst open in hot weather.

Wishful thinking the cones might have been Weymouth pines It would have been particularly appropriate if the cones Henry had brought home to cultivate had been Weymouth Pines but they are a quite different species [below left.]

Pinus Strobus, commonly denominated as the eastern white pine is a large pine native to eastern North America. It occurs from Newfoundland, Canada west through the Great Lakes region to southeastern Manitoba and Minnesota, south along the Appalachian Mountains and upper Piedmont to northernmost Georgia and perhaps very rarely in some of the higher elevations in northeastern Alabama. The Native American Haudenosaunee denominated it the Tree of Peace. Its name in Britain of Weymouth pine is after Captain George Weymouth of the British Royal Navy, who brought its seeds to England from Maine in 1605. His courtesy title was Viscount Weymouth as the eldest son of the Marquis of Bath. Last year the then incumbent Viscountess took part in Strictly Come Dancing.
Pine trees from cones have grown then, and so has book enjoyment Through the post box this evening came the note below from Alison Bartlett in the village who has been a regular visitor to Avril's book giveaway stall at the gate throughout the pandemic. More than 100 of our old books have now found new homes and Alison wanted to tell how much she'd enjoyed it. Makes it all worthwhile eh!

Published Date: July 23rd 2020

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