|Cedar tree in Byfield Pocket Park|
It is certainly a cedar but whether it is really Cedar of Lebanon, Cedrus libani... The truth is that, until it produces cones, I can't be sure but at the moment it is looking far more like a Deodar, Cedrus deodara. It is a handsome tree and, as Shakespeare didn't say, "A cedar by any other name would smell as sweet". Sadly I have never found any insects associated with it - but I'm being picky.
The oak in my second picture is a different matter altogether. Oaks support an enormous number of insects, many of them causing galls. In my much-thumbed copy of Redfern and Shirley's "British Plant Galls", the keys to those found on oak cover 29 pages - far more than for any other plant.
|Pedunculate Oak, Byfield Pocket Park|
21 January, 2013
In Britain there are two native species of oak. Those found in Byfield's Pocket Park are all Pedunculate Oak, Quercus robur. (Our other British species is the Sessile Oak, Quercus petraea, largely - but not exclusively - found in northern and western Britain, growing on neutral to acid soils.)
|Knopper Galls in Byfield Pocket Park|
I have recorded many galls from oaks in this park including the Knopper Gall, caused by a tiny wasp-like insect Andricus quercuscalicis. The odd thing is that the wasp goes through a two-stage life-cycle, one stage involving the Pedunculate Oak and the other stage requiring Turkey Oak Quercus cerris, yet I am not aware of any Turkey Oaks in the vicinity. But I am on the lookout!