Beeches of Flagstaff Hill in Epping Forest

Back in April I was introduced to ‘Big Bill’ which is an important keystone tree at
Flagstaff Hill, near High Beech in Epping Forest. This is an impressive tall and straight pollarded Beech which is used for training arborists in climbing and health and safety.

Web 72 -_DSC5637-Edit(c) Marion Sidebottom

Big Bill at Flagstaff Hill

Although the picture gives no sense of scale, the tree’s impressive height can be inferred  as it was taken in April and the tallest branches are visible before it came into leaf.   I really must put more people in my tree pictures for scale and historical context but I often prefer just the tree. The next image shows what can happen to top heavy lapsed pollards in severe weather which unfortunately is a common scene all around Epping Forest.  This one is completely hollow and blackened from the Brittle Cinder Fungus (Kretzschmaria deusta). Part of the tree is still alive and may survive for a few years to come, although I’m not sure what it’s life span will be with this fungus inside it.

Web 72 -_DSC5590-Edit(c) Marion Sidebottom

Lapsed Pollard with fallen limbs and Brittle Cinder Fungus

Beech trees grow in all shapes and sizes but always with shallow roots. I like the shape and balance of this girthy tree below which looks like it has twisted as it has grown. It is scarred with age and has missing branches which tell the story of it’s life.Web 72 -_DSC5624-Edit(c) Marion Sidebottom

Twisted Beech tree

The next two are character trees, this first one reminds me of a Chinese Lion Guardian sitting on its haunches like the ones seen guarding restaurants in China town.

Web 72 -_DSC5686-Edit(c) Marion Sidebottom

Beech tree resembling a Chinese Lion Guardian

The second one below resembles a self-important person with an aloof and pointy turned up nose and a long neck.

Web 72 -_DSC5692-Edit(c) Marion Sidebottom

Rather aloof Beech tree

Lastly I was attracted to the colours and textures of this decaying trunk which still has a useful role to play in nature as it gradually breaks down and decays back into the earth.Web 72 -_DSC5699-Edit(c) Marion Sidebottom

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About Marion's Eye

Photographer & Mixed Media Artist
This entry was posted in Ancient, Ancient Tree, Artist in Residence, Beech Tree, Botanical, Environment, Epping Forest, Essex, Forest, Gnarly, Hollow Tree, Landscape, Landscape Photography, Nature, Photography, Spring, Tree Photographer, Tree Photography, Trees, Woodland and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Beeches of Flagstaff Hill in Epping Forest

  1. hamertheframer says:

    Excellent! Now I’ll add Flagstaff Hill to my list of places to visit.

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