Not too Crabby

For those of you not familiar with Whiddon Deer Park in the Teign Valley, one of it’s many marvellous attributes is this fine old Crab Apple (Malus sylvestris). It was admired by some of the leading members of the Ancient Tree Forum on their last visit to the Park. The tree is so large and old for its species that the heavier braches are beginning to droop towards the ground (in other species this is known as layering). Unfortunately for this poor tree it is in an area frequented by the cattle which are essential to the proper management of the Park, and as such as soon as the branches droop to cow height, they are browsed upon. To stop this, the forum suggested fencing the tree off to protect it from the worst of the bovine appetite. As you can see from the pictures, it is a truly magnficent example of this species and hopefully will remain so for a long, long time to come, and the cows will  have to make do with grass.  

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