The joys of 'tree spotting' - and becoming a warden

Tree seeds and fruit

The ‘fruits’ of an hour’s tree-spotting walk. - Credit: Groundwork South

You may be well versed in the ways of the English oak and its acorns, or the weeping willow and its draping branches, but have you ever spotted a wing bark elm in leaf, a spindle in fruit or a witch hazel in flower? These are the anticipated delights that keep ‘tree-spotters’ staring at up at branches (and tripping over roots), on our daily walks.
The joy of ‘tree-spotting is that it is open to everyone, from novice to expert. Indeed, unless you are a tree spotting purist, you can simply look for as many different coloured or shaped leaves as you can, for the tallest or the shortest tree, or the first blossom, nut, fruit, or bud of the year.
The variation that comes with the change of season and of location, from our hedgerows to urban streets and from sheltered gardens to windswept cliffs, means that whenever and wherever you are there is always some form of arboreal delight to wonder at.
In fact, when you combine the visual with the physical, environmental, ecological and practical benefits that they provide us with, you may start to wonder why trees aren’t more valued than they are. Fortunately, help is at hand…
Now in its thirty-first year, the Tree Council’s Tree Warden Scheme brings together local people who want to ensure that the trees where they live are valued and to help other members of the community to appreciate their importance too. 
You do not need any formal training or experience in tree management to volunteer as a warden, although the scheme does offer support and informal training. All you need is a love of trees and some time to spare.

If you would like to become a Tree Warden and help with gathering information about our local trees, getting involved in local tree matters and encouraging local practical projects related to trees – from identifying suitable land for tree planting projects to arranging local tree planting days, and even helping raise the funds needed to do this – please contact Hannah Worthington on 07940510616 or email hannah.worthington@groundwork.org.uk