How Bracken Evolved into a Woodland Bully

Published by timwilley on

One aspect of bracken’s ability to dominate the landscape is its very effective adaptation of smothering and then collapsing young trees.

This, it does in the autumn, after reaching a critical height and mass. It then can catch and twist into the branches and on wilting, brings the sapling to the ground – usually together with the stake and tree guard!

It’s particularly annoying, as the victims invariably die and can only be saved if you can recover them in good time. But they’re so well hidden, it’s a bit like searching for buried sheep in the snow.

This season, as you can see below, we’ve made an effort to keep the bracken at bay, but it can so easily outpace our best efforts, sending up new, eight-inch shoots, within 24 hours!

Categories: Tales from the Wood