I’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.
The 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.
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.