Seventy at Seventy

Life Begins at 70

[09] From Little Acorns

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[09] From Little Acorns – a Pictorial Blog about Trees

I love everything about trees – their trunks, branches, leaves and flowers; their seasonal changes; silhouettes and mistletoe … You can see some of my tree pictures in my posts about Spring and Autumn and Winter. Most of what you will find in The Year is also trees. But I have lots more!


Well, it was impossible to define Grass very clearly in taxonomic terms and it won’t surprise you to know that Trees are even more difficult. We think of trees as tall plants with a woody trunk and branches. We may sometimes loosely include tree ferns, bananas and bamboos as trees and because of their structure we may exclude palms.


The top-level classification of plants is into Angiosperms (producing flowers and seeds within fruits) and Gymnosperms (producing unenclosed seeds such as cones.) Taxonomy in the plant world is developing and there are many levels. To find most trees we go down from Angiosperms to Monocots, Eudicots and Rosids to the order Rosales where we find roses, strawberries, apples, almonds, hawthorn, figs, mulberries, breadfruit, nettles, hops and cannabis – some of which are trees and some are not.

On the other side, coniferous trees form the largest group within the Gymnosperms!


This blog is about trees and when I use the word ‘tree’ I mean a large plant with a woody trunk and branches. I don’t know enough about them to be able to identify species. Here are some pictures of trees of various types and sizes, closer views of tree trunks and even some pictures of dead trees, some cut to reveal tree rings. Pictures are vaguely ordered but still a bit random.

‘Mighty oaks from little acorns grow’ is a well-known saying that means ‘Great things may come from small beginnings.’ It has been a proverbial saying for many centuries in several forms. The ‘mighty’ oaks can be ‘great’, ‘tall’, ‘sturdy’ or just ‘big.’

Chaucer in 1374 said “as an ook cometh of a litel spyr,” where ‘spyr’ or spire is a sapling before the word ‘acorn’ had developed.

Originally ‘akerne’ or ‘acharn’ meant ‘fruit of the enclosed land,’ and it was applied to the most important forest fruit, the fruit of the oak tree. Chaucer called them ‘achornes of okes.’ Eventually they were seen as cognate with ‘corn’ or ‘oak-horn’ and the modern spelling ‘acorn’ emerged.



Author: Alan

Retired, currently living in Cheltenham.

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