Flaky bark and even flakier tree recognition: I take a closer look at the tree that I photographed on Friday and, although the bark is flaky, it isn’t as flaky as that of London Plane: it’s Horse Chestnut, which probably explains why the bark is so polished; it’s been climbed by generations of conker collectors.
At this time of year, the swelling buds are almost as distinctive at the autumn conker fruits. The bud scales are red-brown and sticky and beneath them are the shield-shaped scars where last year’s leaves were attached.
The lenticels that dot the twigs are raised pores which allow for gaseous exchange.
These boughs of a Horse Chestnut*, snaking out over the Middle Lake at Nostell Priory have been polished by generations of young explorers so that the scaly bark resembles the skin of a serpent.
*Not London Plane, as I’d said in the original version of this post. I went back and checked the buds and they’re big, brown and sticky.
This bracket fungus, Trametes veriscolor (formerly Coriolus versicolor), is growing on a stump at the Denby Dale Road end of the carriage drive in Clarence Park, Wakefield. When Clarence, Holmfield and Thornes Park were laid out as a public park by the Victorians, horse chestnuts were planted along this drive.