Dear Readers, it’s true that wherever you wander, there’s no place like home, so we were very happy to be back in East Finchley, even though it has no canals and there’s not a gondola in sight, in spite of Storm Babet having caused flooding in other parts of the country. Still, there is progress in the form of lots of additional Electric Vehicle chargers being installed at each end of the road, though it’s a pain for pedestrians at the moment, especially anybody with a pram or mobility issues.
Putting in the charging points (which I wrote about previously here) involves digging a trench:
…putting in the individual charging points, which lie flat to the pavement:
and linking them all up to a control box.
It’s a lot of work, but the end result is about a dozen new charging points at each end of the road, which will surely be a good thing, though for many people the link between the outrageous weather north of the border and climate change still seems to be tenuous.
Anyhow, on we go down to Cherry Tree Wood. The Leicester Road bollard is still vertical – this must be a record.
All of the various Virginia Creepers/Russian Vines are bursting into autumnal colour, and very fine they look too.
The sun is so bright that it’s lighting up these seedheads like little lanterns.
And Cherry Tree Wood is looking particularly fine.
A quick trot along the Unadopted Road shows a flowering ivy that is absolutely a buzz with hoverflies and honeybees. How important this plant is for pollinators! On this warmish day I also saw a queen bumblebee that was easily the size of my thumb joint.
The poor Tibetan Cherry tree below wasn’t quite so happy though – it’s oozing resin from multiple places on the trunk. The bark is still beautifully shiny in some places, but in others it’s clearly very damaged.
This is, I think, something called canker disease, and it results when a fungal or bacterial infection starts in damaged wood. Street trees have a terrible time of it, as we’ve seen – they’re weakened by drought or by water saturation, their roots are often cut or squashed, and there always seems to be some twit taking a branch off with the edge of a skip. Pruning at the wrong time of year, or doing it badly, can also set up the conditions for the infection. So I fear for this tree – it looks as if the infection is well advanced, and I doubt if cutting out the damage will leave a viable tree. Apparently oozing resin in cherry trees is so common that it has a name – gummosis. And the resin was used as a form of chewing gum by Native Americans, though I would be a little bit careful as cherry tree bark also contains the precursor chemicals for cyanide. So, this is an interesting phenomenon that I hadn’t noticed before, but I would much rather this little Tibetan Cherry wasn’t quite so ‘fascinating’.