Despite the damp and drizzle over 16 folks turned up to The Lodge at 11am yesterday to join BCC Park Ranger Dean Paul’s excellent 2 hour plus ‘tree and cemetery walk’.
Combining his extensive knowledge of Brandwood Cemetery from his previous role as a member of the ground maintenance/grave team with his current role as a City Park Ranger for South Birmingham, Dean covered an wide range of fascinating and instructive topics. I am sure that everyone who attended found the whole experience hugely instructive and worthwhile.
Spotted on the walk was this industrious Squirrel’s dinner table!
Our thanks to Dean for his time. He hopes to do a further ‘walk’ when we have some Autumn colour so watch this site for the date.
The amazing photographs below were taken by one of our facebook supporters and I think they shows the amazing number and variation of trees in Brandwood End Cemetery…close to 1700 individual trees, planted following a grid template by the great landscape designer ‘Louden’.
We must remember that when these trees were planted, around 1899, they would have been very small saplings and the people who planted them knew they would never personally enjoy the scene they were creating!
We must also remember our significant avenue of Redwoods…..
Sunday 13th October– a date for your diary to join Dean, the Park Ranger, on a Tree Walk around our beautiful cemetery. Find out more via this link.
Brandwood tree walk 2019 (1)
Our thanks to a local drone operator who shared these magical views with us.
In the following higher shot you are able to get a small insight into the amazing trees within Brandwood End. We are hoping to arrange a walk around the cemetery with Dean, our local Ranger but as local people will know- their time is very much at a premium.
I hope the residents of Kings Heath realise the amazing green space that sits quietly on their doorstep. Luckily for us, the local wildlife are well aware of their opportunities and the cemetery is home to Muntjac deer, Foxes, Hedgehogs, Squirrels,Woodpeckers, Owls, birds of prey……….and many species of familiar birds.
Today we received the photo below and a message from the City Tree Officer:-
‘Unfortunately one of the mature Oaks adjacent to the Jewish Cemetery suffered severe storm damage over the weekend.
The tree has been assessed and found to have several severe structural defects.
Due to the prominent location of the tree the decision has been made to have it removed.’
Birmingham City Council’s tree service provider will be on site tomorrow to undertake the work.
Normally the Tree Officer likes to leave the main structure of a tree standing as ‘habitat’ if it needs to be felled through age etc but unfortunately, as you can see, that is not possible in this case. It is very sad, but nothing lives forever and the main tree stock in Brandwood End is 125 years old or more, so losses have to be expected. The Friends hope we can work with the Tree Officer and Bereavement Services to plant young trees to naturally take over from these beauties!
Tree contractors, Idverde, have crown lifted many conifers (removed lower branches) and other species, as well as removing Ivy from the lower 6 feet of trunks along the Sunderton road boundary.
Regular visitors to the cemetery will have noticed a huge increase in tree work in the last year. This has followed a survey to determine the safety of many of the older and diseased trees, to prevent damage to graves, property and people in the future. Brandwood End was opened in 1899 and many of the trees were planted then or, in the case of some of the oaks, before that date. Oaks often live for several hundred years but many other species have a much shorter life expectancy and that is the case with many of our 1700 plus trees!
We have seen major crown lifting on both sides of our Wellingtonia avenue, large trees removed on the Broad Lane boundary, Poplars removed along the Sunderton Road boundary, Woodland reduced on the pool end of Sunderton road and various trees crown lifted or removed across the cemetery.
On the plus side, great care has been taken to consider wildlife with trees left untouched that are being used by Woodpeckers, ivy growth removed in some areas and left in others for nesting, standing tree stumps left to improve biodiversity and logs piled for Hedgehog use.
A tree replacement programme has been started and a number of new trees have already been planted by local pupils. The Friends hope that this can continue, provided funding can be found.
Another beautiful day in Brandwood End and it is great to see such colourful blossoms.
These trees were planted very recently as part of a Birmingham Trees for Life project with the help of pupils from St Albans R.C. Primary school.
They are already in bloom!!
Two large trees have been damaged by last nights storm. One Beech has been completely uprooted and one of the pines has lost a large branch.
By some miracle, despite the branches falling in grave areas, it would appear little or no damage occurred to headstones.
Today the Friends were joined by local pupils of St Albans Catholic Primary school, Councillors, Tree Officers….and a Ranger, to start what we hope will be an ongoing tree replacement project !
Birmingham Trees for Life organised today’s event after the local Tree Officer appealed for help to replace the 64 Poplar Trees recently removed as they had reached the end of their life. 3 Flowering Cherry trees, 3 Oak trees, 3 Tulip trees, 3 Crab Apples and 3 Liquid Amber have been planted as a start towards returning the tree stock to its previous level.
The Friends helped with planting, but more importantly they provided hot drinks, squash and biscuits for everyone. Our thanks to everyone that helped make today’s event a success. If you follow the link on
btfl.org.uk you can see lots of lovely photos that they took today.
The ‘Crown lifting’ of trees continues in the Cemetery. It started with the Redwood Avenue and random trees.
Contractors moved on to the removal of diseased Poplars, but now (much to the delight of the residents) the trees at the rear of properties in Broad Lane are being given the ‘lifting’ treatment. That means more light and less leaves for them all, and better maintained trees. Win, win !