My notes from the woodland are usually written with pride but, instead, this one is written with immense sadness. Someone has made a thorough job of removing the bark from around one of the trees standing near to the pathway towards the bird feeders and close to the bird hide. This tree will now inevitably die and so whoever did this has killed it as certainly as if they had chopped it down. It will just take a longer time to happen. Here’s why.
Trees take water from the ground and carbon dioxide from the air to enable the green chlorophyll in the leaves to make sugar, which is the food used BY THE WHOLE TREE. The water is absorbed by the roots and travels up to the branches bearing their leaves through the wood (the XYLEM) that is in the centre of the trunk. As the water travels upwards, it is called sap and so the wood in the trunk’s centre that carries it is called the sap wood. The sugar that is made in the leaves then has to feed every part of the tree – including the roots. The sweet liquid is carried to the roots through tiny tubes (the PHLOEM) that are just under the bark of the branches and the trunk.If the bark is removed, these tubes are inevitably broken and, if bark all the way round the trunk is removed, all connection whereby the roots can receive the food they need to keep them alive will have been severed. Gradually, the root cells will starve and, as they die, they are no longer able to pass water and minerals through to the parts of the tree above ground, so they will die, too. Slowly but certainly, the whole tree has been killed.
Someone took the trouble to remove all of this bark. I cannot even begin to guess what was in their mind as they were doing it but it must have taken them a while to remove so much. Were there any others who were walking through the woodland and who saw what was happening? I’m less worried about catching the culprit than I am about the long-term safety of the Tarvin community’s trees. They belong to the village – to all of us. That is why it is called a COMMUNITY woodland. If you see someone doing damage in OUR woodland – in YOUR woodland – then PLEASE LET THEM KNOW THAT YOU HAVE SEEN THEM. You must not tackle them or attempt to stop thembut please do make them aware that they have been seen. I hope that might provide a sufficient deterrent to prevent further damage.
Our woodland is a wonderful asset for the whole village, but it will only remain the beautiful, tranquil place that it is if we all – EVERY ONE OF US – takes it upon ourselves to look after it. We wouldn’t stand idly by and watch such damage being done in our garden. Please don’t accept it in our woodland.