Shaun Haddock's blog

Acorn Time Approaches

Quercus miquihuanensis

Abundant rain in southwest France in the early part of this year has fostered a bumper seed crop at Arboretum de la Bergerette, some (such as Quercus emoryi) already ripe: thus my thoughts turn once again to the seed exchange forum I mooted, which is at present under construction – many thanks to those of you who have already contacted me on the subject, confirming that the idea is worth pursuing.

Pollen Poachers

Bees are thieves! It’s official! After my recent note pointing out that bees were seemingly harvesting pollen from a Quercus suber without any commensurate benefit to the tree, serendipitously the latest issue of the magazine The Plantsman contained an article giving a synopsis of research into "bee plants" by the National Botanic Garden of Wales, prompted by the alarming dip in global bee numbers.

Stretching the Rules

An oak which breaks the rules... Do oaks have rules? Well, I think so: the rule of survival of the fittest implies that all unnecessary branch structure is unaffordably costly in resources – the aim of a tree should be to display the maximum leaf area for photosynthesis attached to the minimum possible structure. And the culprit in question? Quercus saltillensis.

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