Wednesday, 21 October 2009
Is this the perfect tree? I think it has an amazing shape. It is quite natural - no-one trims it; it just grows every year in this very contained way, like a tree from a child's picture book. I'm pretty sure it's a type of rowan or mountain ash, though it's not quite like the usual variety. It has white blossom in spring, red berries in the autumn, then it changes to lovely autumnal shades before it loses its leaves. Against the backdrop of Saltaire's famous Salts Mill, I think it's rather special.
There's a Scottish song that goes : 'Oh Rowan tree, oh rowan tree, Thou'lt aye be dear to me.' Very apt. Apparently the rowan tree has a lot of folklore attached to it - it used to be thought that it protected against witchcraft. (Maybe it does - I haven't noticed many witches in Saltaire!)