Some thoughts on solitary trees.

Towards the end of 2021 I started to think about solitary trees. For me, these are trees on their own in an agricultural field. They are sometimes called Stand-Alone trees.

I first noticed them when I was creating Boundary No Boundary. I would often see them in the distance whilst out painting. When I created the Learning Disability Nursing banner for Health Education England a solitary tree was the central image.

I went out exploring fields in the Wakefield district and saw quite a few of these trees. I asked a couple of farmers what they thought about them. After all, they have to plough around them when getting the field ready for new crops and avoid them when harvesting. They told me that opinions vary. Some farmers like them as they help identify different fields, some like the look of them and appreciate them for purely aesthetic reasons. Others find them annoying but can’t get rid of them because they belong to the landowner and not the farmer.

And some are protected by a tree preservation order as they are an important part of the environment and are part of a wildlife corridor.

Resent research has shown that trees are more connected than we first thought. Even trees in the middle of a field might be connected to neighbours through a large underground network of fungus.

A solitary tree, Woolley Edge – Map reference SE 32325 12345

I’ve also decided to document them in Winter to better understand their structure. They are classed as dormant but are very much alive. This gives me a shorter time frame to document as many as I can before spring. It would appear I like deadlines.

A solitary tree, Warmfield – Map reference SE 37371 20566

The studies will be published on social media as a go-along. My aim is to reach 64 before spring.


64 Solitary Tree studies can be found here Solitary Trees

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