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Tree Phenology on Exmoor

In 2006 the Exmoor Tree Condition Survey was set up in order to monitor any changes in beech and sessile oak condition which might occur on Exmoor as a result of climate change. Part of the survey includes the yearly survey of pre-selected trees to see what date the buds burst and the leaves fully emerge.

The study of the timing of these natural occuring events is known as Phenology.

A dedicated group of volunteers has taken up the task of carrying out these yearly surveys in order to provide a good level of consistency to the data gathering.

Phenology graph

Although there is too little data to show any significant trends, you can see that the trend line is showing  bud and leaf burst occurring  earlier now than at the start of the survey. It is also interesting to note that according to the Met Office website, in 2011 we experienced the warmest spring on record and in 2013 the coldest spring since 1962. To date, bud and leaf burst occurred earliest in 2011 and latest in 2013.