Tag Archives: forests

A sign of irony?

Over the winter, new signs have sprung up along the Bike Quest trail at Newborough Forest.


The subheading of the sign is “our forests are under attack”…

This one is particularly ironic given that the main threat to Newborough Forest is probably Natural Resources Wales themselves.

The overblown tone of this sign is in keeping with the others. The previous one says “beware the bloodsuckers” and is about the medicinal leeches that are common in the forest’s ponds: it’s not really the kind of language that will help make people feel fondly towards the forest and its wildlife.


Newborough: a forest of many trees…

Approaching Newborough Forest from the Malltraeth Cob

Approaching Newborough Forest from the Malltraeth Cob

That seems like a silly title – of course a forest has many trees, but what I meant in particular is that Newborough Forest contains many different kinds of trees. It isn’t “just a pine forest”, although it certainly has lots of pines. It also has a diverse range of other species of trees too, including a wide range of broadleaves. Eagle eyed tree spotters can look out for:

Corsican pine – Pinus nigra ssp laricio. This is the tree most often planted and represented over 90% of the canopy in 2010 – management operations mean that percent is now somewhat lower.

Other pines to look out for (including some relatively unusual ones) are:
Maritime pine – Pinus pinaster
Macedonian pine – Pinus peuce
Lodgepole pine – Pinus contorta
Weymouth pine – Pinus strobus
Monterey pine – Pinus radiata
Bishop pine – Pinus muricata
Virginia pine – Pinus virginiana
Japanese red pine – Pinus densiflora
Jeffrey pine – Pinus jeffreyi
Scots pine – Pinus sylvestris
Stone pine – Pinus pinea

And, it isn’t just pines. Other conifers include:
Sitka spruce – Picea sitchensis
Norway spruce – Picea abies

Caucasian fir – Abies nordmanniana
Grand fir – Abies grandis
Noble fir – Abies procera

Monterey cypress – Cupressus macrocarpa

Western hemlock – Tsuga heterophylla

Western red cedar – Thuja plicata
Japanese red cedar – Cryptomeria japonica

Japanese larch – Larix kaempferi

Yew – Taxus baccata

And, there are also lots of broadleaves, more in some areas than others. They include:
Cherry – Prunus avium
Birch – Betula spp
Holly – Ilex aquifolium
Hawthorn – Crataegus monogyna
Sycamore – Acer pseudoplatanus
Rowan – Sorbus aucuparia
Ash – Fraxinus excelsior
Walnut – Juglans regia
Oak – Quercus petraea
Holm oak – Quercus ilex
Hazel – Corylus avellana
Apple – Malus
Crab apple – Malus sylvestris
Poplar (balsam) – Populus X
Elder – Sambucus nigra
Tamarisk – Tamarix
Willow – Salix
Alder – Alnus glutinosa
Elm – Ulmus
Spindle tree – Euonymus europaeus
Horse chestnut – Aesculus hippocastum
Sweet chestnut – Castanea sativa
Himalayan cotoneaster – Cotoneaster simonsii (one of the targets for eradication by the Forestry Commission as they consider it too invasive)

And that is by no means an exhaustive list. Happy tree spotting!

Newborough Forest tree spotting checklist (this is a pdf listing of most of the trees in the forest, that you can download and print. 283KB)