Thursday, 2 August 2012

Cherries, Green Walnuts & Medlars

On our journey back from our walk at Bolton’s Bench recently, I spotted a big cherry tree by the roadside. I thought it must be worth a visit as I noticed the red fruit despite the rain streaked car windows.
The Cherry Tree
When the children and I returned to check it out, the skies darkened and it started raining, AGAIN! We had our waterproofs with us though and set out to try the cherries regardless.
Green Walnuts
As we crossed the road to where I remembered the tree was, we found two beautiful little compact walnut trees, one of which was covered in (yes you guessed it) green walnuts. I grabbed a couple off the tree to take home, I love their exotic smell.
Sadly the cherries were, although bountiful, somewhat sour and not quite ripe. Also the tree had curling leaves, which seems to have become a big problem for cherry trees this year.
Walnut Catkins in Spring
The disappointment of the cherry was more than made up for by the walnuts though. Many people have expressed an enthusiastic interest in walnuts and these trees are actually fairly common.  I will arrange a Walnut Picknik when the season is right. Keep a keen eye on the blog for dates, places and times.
A Large Walnut Tree
To help with identification I had produced a seasonal tree id sheet for walnuts to go with the others. However, I noticed during my Arthouse Cafe talk that one picture on it was of a plum! This error will be corrected soon and you may want to replace the sheet if you have downloaded it previously.
There is a small walnut tree in Watts Park (Southampton), that’s the one in front of the Art Gallery; location and examining this tree will help familiarise you with the leaf shape and pattern. Interestingly, there is a Mulberry tree in this park too. 
Medlars Also Known as Cat's Bottoms (seriously)
There are also several large walnut trees in Mottisfont for those who are members of the National Trust and on our last visit, I even spotted a Medlar too. Not that I am suggesting anyone goes foraging on National Trust land!

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