Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum

Autumnal highlights: Sir Chris Hoy’s favourite tree?

Posted: October 23, 2012 at 19:57 pm Author: Caroline Bennett

As part of Westonbirt's activities for families this October, Caroline Bennett from our Learning and Participation Team has created a trail of autumnal highlights for families, which will run from 29 October - 2 November. Here are some of the fascinating facts she has researched...

Siberian larch

Unlike most conifers, the needle-like leaves of the Siberian larch turn straw yellow and fall each autumn. Native to arctic regions it is one of the most cold tolerant trees in the world and dominates the huge boreal forests of the far north.

As well as losing its needles the Siberian larch is adapted for extreme cold in other ways; branches are designed to break off under heavy snow before the whole tree is in danger.

Because of the harsh environment the timber is slow grown; perfect for providing the durable, splinter free surface required for velodrome tracks; including the one in London. The London track took 26 carpenters eight weeks to nail together.

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