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Milton’s special tree

hamishacaciaScattered around our villages are several variegated maples (acer) most of which are planted in private gardens. Many can be seen from the road.

Their bright yellow foliage forms significant punctuation marks in the essay of our Cotswold village environments. Indeed we have one in our own garden, which although relatively young, is spectacular with its backdrop of a massive copper beech tree. Truly wonderful contrasting colours which never fail to catch the eye.

However there is one particular tree that is quite outstanding and I am sure anyone who has travelled between Shipton and Milton cannot have failed to have noticed it. I refer of course to the remarkable mature specimen growing in the corner of the Milton Village Hall car park. I have not been able to establish exactly who planted it, or when, but I feel sure it must have been in the early 70s. What a favour they did us! It is beautifully symmetrical in shape and stands over 40ft tall. It has one particularly intriguing feature. Most variegated species have a tendency to revert from the variegated state to the original leaf colour (in this case green rather than the bright yellow). This tree has one branch which reverts each year towards the original green state and for me it is like the beauty spot on the face of a pretty Victorian lady! I just hope that this tendency to revert does not increase as time goes by. A fully green maple would not be anything like as spectacular.

If anyone in our villages wishes to plant a tree, preferably visible to passers-by, do consider one of these maples. They do not grow very fast and are just as beautiful when young as they are when fully mature. However bear in mind that they can become as dominating as the specimen in Milton.

Hamish Harvey

October – November 2018