Tuesday, 8 April 2014

A Year in the Life of a Bramley Apple Tree - 8th April

I'm a little late with my follow a tree with Loose and Leafy post this month, but better late than never as they say.

Firstly I thought I'd show you close-ups of my chosen tree, a (almost) 100 year old Bramley Apple tree that can be found in the orchard at The Orchard Tea Room & Farm Shop.

As you can see the tree has not escaped damage during its' long life. Part of it is hollow, possibly caused by a branch falling long ago. But there is plenty of life there.

The branches are encrusted with mosses up to 16 different moss species have been found on the old Bramley trees in this particular orchard:

Amblystegium serpens Creeping Feather-moss
Brachythecium rutabulum Rough-stalked Feather-moss
Bryum capillare Capillary Thread-moss
Ceratodon purpureus Redshank
Cryphaea heteromalla Lateral Cryphaea A Clean Air species
Dicranoweisia cirrata Common Pincushion
Frullania dilatata Dilated Scalewort
Grimmia pulvinata Grey-cushioned Grimmia
Homalothecium sericeum Silky Wall Feather-moss
Hypnum cupressiforme Cypress-leaved Plait-moss
Hypnum resupinatum Supine Plait-moss
Orthotrichum affine Wood Bristle-moss
Orthotrichum diaphanum White-tipped Bristle-moss
Orthotrichum lyellii Lyell's Bristle-moss A Clean Air species
Rhynchostegium confertum Clustered Feather-moss
Syntrichia laevipila Small Hairy Screw-moss
Syntrichia montana Intermediate Screw-moss
Syntrichia papillosa Marble Screw-moss A Clean Air species
Ulota bruchii Bruch's Pincushion A Clean Air species
Ulota phyllantha Frizzled Pincushion A Clean Air species
Zygodon conoideus Lesser Yoke-moss

The tree is almost in blossom, I'll get some photographs for you as the buds open.


  1. The mosses have wonderful names. Mosses are fascinating. I don't know which is which and I don't understand out how they 'work' but they are so beautiful and interesting they can hold my attention way beyond my knowledge and their size.

  2. I don't know which is which either Lucy, the orchard was surveyed by an OPAL expert if you're interested you can find out more on the OPAL website http://www.opalexplorenature.org they do have a downloadable guide to orchard mosses http://www.opalexplorenature.org/sites/default/files/7/file/Orchard%20mosses%20final%20paginated%20hi%20res.pdf
    and loads of other useful stuff.

  3. A most interesting tree following post, and terrific photos Flighty xx

  4. I am amazed by the number of mosses.
    I love old apple trees. I have some very old ones in my orchard but it is difficult to tell how old. Do you know what sort of age they can get to?

  5. wonderful to read the diversity of mosses!

  6. Wonderful, I had no idea there could be so many mosses on one tree. I have one pretty old apple tree (not as old as this), I'll go and have a good look at it tomorrow. I'm 'following' an alder sapling I planted, so there's nothing particularly living on it or in it yet - not like your venerable apple!

  7. Chloris the original Bramley apple tree still survives it's over 200 years old.