Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum

Tree Champions: Olympic cycling

Posted: June 5, 2012 at 10:43 am Author: Westonbirt's learning and participation team

From 6 - 8 June, Westonbirt's learning and participation team will be hosting the Tree Champions family event. The event will include a trail around some of our own Olympic champions - our trees and shrubs - as well as some great Olympic-themed craft activities with a woody twist! Here, the team reveal some of the Tree Champion facts you can discover at Westonbirt…



Not all trees stand alone and cope on their own through their lifetimes.

Some become a team and depend on each other to survive.

Oaks, for example, often fuse roots with other nearby oaks, the white threads of fungus connecting them together.

Through this network chemicals, toxins and nutrients are cycled between the trees.

If one oak is infested by a parasite, it can warn other oaks through this root network so that they can withdraw nutrients into their roots to survive the attack.

Birches, maples, willows and poplars are all known to engage in root fusion within their species.

However, beech, aspen and sumac go one step further and root fuse with each other – interspecies team cycling!

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