Once in a Saturday morning me and my colleague were catching some inspiration in Richmond park. Jackie pointing to the direction of the tumour on the oak, asked – “What’s that?”. “Cancer” – I said with a smile.
Can plants get cancer? Firstly we need to define cancer. It’s a group of diseases with the uncontrolled division of abnormal cells with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body. And in plants, that can happen— kind of.
Tree growth in which the grain has grown in a deformed way Trees get cancer, but the tumours can’t metastasise (spread to other parts of the tree) because the cells are enclosed by hard cell walls, which means they can’t migrate to other areas of the tree. So even when cells begin to proliferate uncontrollably, they usually don’t do too much damage—the result is often those knots in trees called galls or burls which you can see on oaks or birches.
I would like to tell you about burls today. Burls form on coniferous and foliage trees and they are found quite rarely in nature. The nature of it’s formation is still not known very well. Sometimes they could become over 1 t mass, but usually they are not bigger than 30 cm across the diameter.
All literature dedicated to this subject is quite poor and gives contradictory information facts. Nature created inimitable in it’s beauty and diversity the formation of the tree tumours, which are called – burls.
From the earliest times burls’ wood is worth it’s weight in gold on global market because of the rarity, rich, various and mild texture. Also it’s quite complicated and fickle in a treatment. Usual processings are quite useless with woodworking of burls, that’s why it requires highly skilled hand-crafting.
How to build insect hotel and why it’s super cool
Sometimes you can notice how garden pests die as if it’s without reason. But its happened because they were killed by the insects, which parasite on their eggs, maggots or imagos. Insectivores are capable of depleting troops of herbivores insects to 40%. If you would like to attract helpful insects to your garden, you can make a refuge for them. U can use old needless containers or boxes. They placed to the “floors” and filled with stones, sticks, straws, bark, sawdust, pieces of broken pottery.
Luxurious five-hotel for insects may be made from bricks with cavities and holes inside. Free spaces are filled with various improvised materials, like pieces of moss, straws, cones, wood pieces. Even neglected fences can be used as a refuge for insects. These places also could attract small animals: hedgehogs, shrews, lizards, frogs, toads help to your garden, destroying pests’ lumps.
Which insects are good for your garden?
They cope really well with “aphid”-problem. During the life, one ladybird is able to destroy 4-5 thousands of aphids
It’s speedy insect 1.18 inches, which eat maggots, caterpillars, gall midges, snails and slugs
Feeds on aphids, caterpillars and other sawfly insects
This insect with glittering eyes
is my favourite, with transparent couple of wings has yellowish-green body. It’s larvaes during its development period (approx. 60 days) destroy thousands scale insects, aphids, spider mites and other pesticides.
And many others!
Sometimes predator insects breed effectively only if they have an access to the nectarous plants. That’s why for attraction those insects to your garden it’s good to plant flowers. Suitable varieties are Umbrella families, and other small flowers with giving-nectars plants, where can also bees and butterflies could sit.