Is keeping a low profile wise?

Tulip treeI was attending a meeting at a location I didn’t know well and was asked to take a seat and wait for the person I was due to see. I was a few minutes early so was not at all concerned and it provided the opportunity to relax and ensure my thought was on the topic ahead.

On this occasion I was near to a window so rather than sit and wait I walked over and had a look out. Sometimes if I am in a high building it is great to have a birds eye view around the area. There is always something of note to look at, recognise, get my bearings or look to a far horizon.

I was on the ground floor and the large window that was near overlooked a garden. This is when I saw the tree in the picture. Whilst I am sure it may look like an old tree in the picture it may not be possible to work out what type of tree it is. Whilst not rare, it is also not all that common, I was surprised as I had seen the same variety only the day before, albeit a much younger version. It is tulip tree. This one is reputedly over 300 years old, it is not possible to confirm when it was planted but there is some thought that it may have been before 1670, the date when the owner of the house died.

It was wonderful looking at the tree in all it’s glory; even though it had clearly been pruned at times, possibly due to wind damage. I had the feeling that as it was so sheltered it had avoided the worst of the winds when so many trees of this type are devastated by high winds.

This got me thinking that whilst many local people may be aware of the tree my guess is the tree is not that well known. If it resided in the expansive grounds of a stately home or in the impressive Kew Gardens perhaps it would be known better. For sure it is one of the oldest in the UK, yet my research indicated so few know.

The purpose of this article is not to create a guide to the tree, or to express the need for the dendrochronologist to roll up their sleeves. It is to raise just a couple of questions:

  • Over the years we have been developing our own skills, have we too kept these tucked away out of sight?
  • By keeping a low profile is this serving the people who need our skills?

Perhaps now is the time to branch out.

My best wishes,


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