Spring time, Tree Bud and Flowers ID

With spring now in full swing and the recent sunny days we have had. I thought I
would do a little blog post on spring tree ID.

I have taken into account the current restrictions on movement, many of the species I am going to cover, are common and you will be able to see on a local walk or even from your window or in your own garden. All the photos were taken during my daily walk for the purpose of exercise on our local allotments, which is just across the road from my home.
 

In the UK with have a vast range of tree and shrub species, many as a result of deliberate and accidental introductions. There are around 50 truly native species of trees in the UK, with some very common species such as Sycamore and Sweet Chestnut being classed as naturalised, as they were introduced a long time ago and have adapted to our climate and natural environment.

Our trees and shrub species have their own annual schedules and routines, which are often very specific to each species. Some trees flower before their leaves sprout, while other’s leaves appear before their flowers. Some are late to join the spring in their show of green, while others are in full leaf early on as a traditional sign of spring. These unique species timings in spring can help us to identify trees and
shrubs.

Ash Buds
Ash Buds

Ash is an easy species to identify at this time of year, even from a distance. With its typical smooth grey bark (in young trees) and jet-black buds. Ash is very late to leaf but in early spring you can spot
Ash from its silhouette alone as the buds explode into frothy purple tinged flowers.

Hawthorn Leaves

Hawthorn can be found almost anywhere. It is a common component of hedgerows. Hawthorn leaves before it flowers unlike Blackthorn which is the opposite. Hawthorn is early to leaf, with some trees in full leaf by the start of April. Its full vibrant green leaves early in spring make it an easy spot in comparison to the other leafless trees.

Larch Buds

Larch, an exception to the rule of evergreens, loses it needles over winter. Its spindly, weeping branches with regular bumps and baby pine cones is an easy one to spot in the winter. In early spring the buds erupt into miniature bright green trees along its branches.

Flowering current

If you see a flush of pink in a garden, hedgerow or woodland in early spring, it will most likely be the Flowering Current. A shrub species that for the rest of the year is often forgotten. But in early spring is pinks flowers remind me of the Pink Wafer biscuits on a Sunday tea. A great early source of nectar for Bumble bees.