The Fell Foot Sequoias

Giant Sequoia Layered

We have had an historic tree survey done at Fell Foot, which indicates that we have several historically significant specimens in the park. Of particular interest are the Giant Redwoods, or Sequoiadendron giganteum, some of which are shown in the picture above. The Giant Redwoods at Fell Foot are particularly special because they exhibit layering propagation, as in the photograph below.

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The original tree was probably imported from its native habitat on the west coast of North America, and planted by a rich landowner in the mid 19th Century. Exotic trees, shrubs and plants were very fashionable! As the tree grew, the lower branches drooped down to touch the ground. Over decades, these branches rooted and separated from the main trunk, growing into a subsidiary tree. This is easy to see on the ground, as the main (biggest) tree is central to several smaller trees in a radial pattern. Our specialist parks and gardens consultant suggested that this example of layering is rare in the UK, so we will endeavour to find out more!

We’d like to make more of these trees for our visitors, as part of the project. The Fell Foot Park Sequoias are 100-150 years old, and in their native habitat might live for over 1000 years! It is very important that we take good care of the trees and their legacy.

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Fell Foot’s sunny meadow

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In contrast to today’s torrential rain, we enjoyed a particularly sunny couple of hours in the park yesterday with the Trust’s Gardens and Parks specialist, Simon. He’ll be providing advice whilst we put together new planting plans for the park and continue tree management and conservation.  He also put some of Fell Foot’s best features in a national context for us, in particular the spectacular trees (more to follow on this!).ImageThe southern meadow, with its mown walkway, looked gorgeous! The path will make a great Park Run in the next couple of months (check out http://www.parkrun.org.uk to register and/or volunteer!).  Park staff have recently been working hard with Cumbria Wildlife Trust to establish meadow perennials, and the bees were enjoying the results (I failed to get a photo of one in action – sorry!). Image