Plumstravaganza – Once more unto the Beech

Most of the people who came for the Edible Tree Trail had attended in Spring, but there were a couple of newbies to swell the ranks.

The route was exactly the same as before, but the intention was to retrace our footsteps and notice how the trees had changed since May. Broadly speaking, flowers had been replaced by fruit, with some more ripe than others. The Rowan berries, being fully red and ripe but not softened were at peak condition. They were not to everyone’s (anyone’s) taste, being tart and quite bitter. The meagre crop of Elder berries showed they were ready for harvesting because they were black, plump and beginning to droop. There are others in the vicinity which are more generously laden with fruit.

For some trees, the time for harvesting was past. The Lime leaves were no longer the succulent morsels they had been in May, and the flowers had been replaced by hard, dry fruit. These are alleged, somewhat fancifully, to resemble chocolate in taste when less ripe. They certainly don’t taste of chocolate in September. The Beech masts were evident, but apart from one that contained a nut, the rest were wizened and empty. Acorns from the Sessile and English Oaks were as expected, extremely tannic. However, after a while they had a surprisingly sweet aftertaste. Meanwhile, the Hawthorn had been completely cut down!


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