Monthly Tree Place
Each month we featured a special place occupied by Trees in Bakewell, with pictures, history and local information. Scroll down to see more monthly places.
JANUARY : New Year with the White Birches
(Click for full size pictures)
The Gods of the Air blew hard, increasing the chill of winter, as we walked across the Agricultural Centre car park towards the saplings planted round the new building. With no leaves they appeared bare and lonely but our eyes were drawn to three group plantings, white trunks shining out in the light of the low afternoon sun. The White Ladies of the Woods, the young birches, so often grown in groves, stood tall and beautiful.
Birch, honoured through the ages, is connected with new beginnings. And here our birches are sited at one of the latest developments in the town. Traditionally, brooms made of birch twigs swept away the spirits of the old year as the days lengthened and the sun stayed a little longer in the sky. Celebrating the change of the season it was often burnt in a warming Christmas fire as the Yule Log.
These birches are Betula utilus var. Jacquemontii. They have the whitest of paper bark and are native to the western Himalayas. They are named after Victor Venceslas Jacquemont (1801-1832), a Frenchman, who led an amazing life; a desperate love affair with an actress, his picture painted by Monet, visiting Brazil and New York, going to Haiti to have a duel - that never took place -and tragically dying of disease in the Himalayas as a Victorian naturalist, undertaking a scientific survey.
Bakewell Tree Trail wishes a Happy New Year to all our visitors!
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