My over-the-road-oak July

IMG_3765I’m sorry, but I’m two day’s late following my tree with Lucy at Loose and Leafy.  However, looking on the bright side, I was a week late with Wildflower Wednesday, so you could say I’m making progress!

So today, bearing in mind how incredibly dry it’s been here recently, I’ve been thinking about how much water a tree of this size needs.  According to ‘Ask Jeeves’ it needs 227 litres of water a day and “if it doesn’t get enough water and nutrients the tree will stop growing and the leaves will turn to yellow”.  Clearly from this shot of the beautiful foliage it would appear to be getting that amount, which I find quite incredible.  This got me thinking about how deep the roots extended, and I found this diagram on http://www.deeproot.com.  Although not brilliant quality, you can see clearly that the Quercus roots are the deepest, although interestingly they are not so long horizontally.

Aside from simply surviving the relative drought, the latest development is that the oak has also gained some company.

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IMG_3243The Hebridean Sheep come and go during the year (as managed by the National Trust who own the land), but as soon as they arrived (on 13th June) they just disappeared into the far reaches of the field – lost amongst the Cow Parsley, Alexanders and tall grasses.  However now, they have chewed their way through their habitat and are more visible.

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So now, thanks to the sheep, there is far less foliage in the field immediately below the oak.  Does it make a difference to the competition for water?  I doubt it.  But I do love to see the sheep and hear their contented bleating.

5 thoughts on “My over-the-road-oak July

  1. Chloris

    An interesting post, Jenny. Fortunately oaks seem to be quite deep rooted, unlike beech trees which really suffer from drought. I keep reading about all the rain in other parts of the country but like you we have had hardly any. Today we have strong winds which is putting even more stress on the poor plants.
    I love your black sheep. I thought that they were goats at first.

    Reply
  2. AnnetteM

    Well done for writing a post at all on your tree. I don’t think I will manage this month. Nothing much changes at this time of the year does it and I am not supposed to be using my right arm much as I am getting physio for a kind of repetitive strain thing in my shoulder. Interesting about the roots. must look up beech though i know they are shallow. We have had rain though thankfully.

    Reply
  3. Laura Bloomsbury

    Trees here looking a little dry but there must be groundwater judging by your fascinating calculations. Hope the sheep do not have eyes for your oak – I know goats would

    Reply
  4. Lucy Corrander

    The sheep seem to take one into a different domain. Although grass is meant to compete for water with young trees, I can’t imagine (says she guessing, not knowing) the vegetation round a tree like this will have much impact. Maybe round the other way with the tree obscuring sunlight under its branches.

    Fascinating chart re. roots.

    Reply
  5. Pingback: My over-the-road-oak August | Duver Diary

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