Orkney Trees in Winter

I took photographs of some of the trees growing on Mainland, the largest of the Orkney Islands, for two reasons: To show that trees do grow in Orkney and to show how they cope with the strong winds and shorter growing season (sunlight).

I have taken the opportunity of snow to contrast against the limbs, thus showing up the tree shape better – and making some cool patterns in the bargain. All pictures were taken on the 10th Feb 2009, with cold hands. I hope you enjoy!

Sycamores and St Magnus Cathedral

Sycamores and St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, Orkney

Sycamores and St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, Orkney

Windswept Sycamore near Maeshowe Chambered Cairn / Tomb

Windswept sycamore near Maeshowe, Orkney

Windswept sycamore near Maeshowe, Orkney

Sycamore sheltered in Finstown

Sycamore sheltered in Finstown, looking south

Sycamore sheltered in Finstown, looking south

Track through Binscarth – Orkney’s largest wood

track through Binscarth - Orkney's largest wood

track through Binscarth - Orkney's largest wood

Not only Willows and Sycamore

One of many palm trees in Kirkwall

One of many palm trees in Kirkwall

A bonus of exploring Orkney woodland

ice water hidden amidst the trees

ice water hidden amidst the trees

The sun came out at Redland

sun catching the plantation at Redland

sun catching the plantation at Redland

Five minutes later, brrr

Snow forces me to retreat into woods for shelter

Snow forces me to retreat into woods for shelter

Trees leaning towards the light in Binscarth

trees leaning towards the light in Binscarth

trees leaning towards the light in Binscarth

The sky above and branches outlined

Trees when viewed looking straight upwards

Trees when viewed looking straight upwards

Going home!

Binscarth - note the prevailing wind sculpted canopy

Binscarth - note the prevailing wind sculpted canopy

There you go. I’ll be out more, but the snow is melting, and in summer it will look quite different when all the leaves are out and the many willows are all bushy too.

So, don’t let anyone say again that trees do not grown in Orkney – here is the proof!

For pictures of the Standing Stones in snow, click here

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6 responses to “Orkney Trees in Winter

  1. Pingback: Orkney Standing Stones in Winter Snow « Play2survive’s Weblog

  2. do trees grow on Hoy at all?

  3. Dear Jan

    Yes they certainly do – some very important trees on Hoy like the Hazels and Downy Birch in Berriedale and some tall conifer plantations plus a lot more growing back, like Rowen, Aspen, and many willows. Still looks predominately bare to the casual observer. Will get more photos – many more to take, as and when I get out with a camera in hand.

    Best wishes

    Malcolm

  4. These photos are gorgeous Malcolm. I’m feeling very homesick now….

  5. These are some of the nicest Orkney tree shots I have seen…probably because of the snow element! Looking forward to the spring and summer shots too!

  6. Hi!

    Thank you very much for these photographs. I am currently in Stage 5 Architecture student and currently doing a project in Orkney and somehow I couldn’t convince my lecturers that trees do grow in Orkney but I think you may have just made it easier for me. Thank you.

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