Spring Watch 2016 - Trees and Wildflowers

Most the plants in the list opposite are trees. Ideally the trees you watch should be in a sunny position. It is also more beneficial if there are a few trees (say 5 or 6) to add some confidence to your recording. A tree or shrub that is stressed (say growing on its own among competing vegetation or in the shade when it would prefer sunlight) will often respond to spring with unpredictable 'event's. Try and stay with the same trees year after year.

The events here are:
1. budburst - this refers to the opening of a bud. Record this when you can see the green leaves inside the bud emerging. Also, hold back recording the event until about 50% of the buds on the tree are opening. One budburst does not a budburst make!

2. 1st flowers - this refers to the opening of flowers on trees or wildflowers. Wildflowers tend to open faster than the flowers found on trees. They are also easier to see being brightly coloured. Flowers on trees are often light yellow and display as catkins. Make sure that about half the catkins are out before you record the event. In some cases there is a distinction made between male and female flowers. Male flowers produce pollen and the event of flowering should be noted when you can detect pollen release. Female flowers may be more difficult to record.

3. Unripe berries - in this state pollination has occurred but the embryo plant is not yet ready. Unripe fruit is usually green so as not to attract attention. Watch for about half the fruit to appear green before recording it.

4. Ripe berries -berries are the result of successful pollination and fertilization. When a berry is ripe it is ready to leave the plant. To ensure this occurs it frequently offers itself as food and so is attractive to animals in some way such as brightly coloured or tasty. Again, only record ripe fruit if most of the shrub/tree is covered in the fruit.

5. Onset of growth - this refers to new growth of the tree or shrub that increases the height of the plant. It is easy to identify as it occurs at the tips of branches and usually displays as a fresh light-green colour.

When entering a sighting please supply additional information in the comment box to describe the situation of the plant or other observations. We will find these useful in interpreting

SW2010-Trees and wildflowers

Here are the species and events to watch for in this section. Most are trees.

Alder: 1st Flowers
Alder: 1st leaves (budburst)
Ash: 1st leaves (budburst)
Aspen: budburst
Beech: 1st leaves (budburst)
Bilberry: flowering
Bilberry: ripe berries
Bilberry: unripe berries
Bird Cherry tree: flowering
Bird Cherry tree: ripe berries
Bluebells: 1st flowers
Colt's Foot: 1st flowers
Cowberry: flowering
Cowberry: ripe berries
Cowberry: unripe berries
Downy Birch: 1st leaves (budburst)
Downy Birch: start of flowering
Elder: 1st leaves (budburst)
Garlic Mustard: 1st flower
Grass: 1st cutting
Grey Alder: flowering
Hawthorn: 1st flowers
Hawthorn: 1st leaves (budburst)
Hazel: 1st catkins
Hazel: 1st leaves (budburst)
Horse Chestnut: 1st leaves (budburst)
Juniper: flowering (pollen release)
Lady's Smock: 1st flowers
Larch, European: unfolding of needles
Lesser Celandine: 1st flowers
Norway Spruce: flowering (pollen release)
Norway Spruce: start of height growth
Oak, Pedunculate: 1st leaves (budburst)
Oak, Sessile: 1st leaves: budburst
Osier: budburst
Primrose: 1st flowers
Rowan: budburst
Rowan: leaves opened
Scot Pine: onset of growth
Scots Pine: flowering (female)
Scots Pine: flowering (male)
Silver Birch: 1st leaves (budburst)
Silver Birch: start of flowering
Sycamore: 1st leaves (budburst)
Wild Cherry tree: budburst (May shoots)
Wood anemone: 1st flowers

You can request any data you submit to the web site to be sent to you. Data will be sent out after June for Spring Watch'. Only your own data will be made available to you.