Sweet chestnut at Sidmouth’s Byes is Maureen’s choice

Resident’s choice for Sidmouth civic arboretum

SIDMOUTH resident Maureen Thurlow, who is a great supporter of making the town the world’s first civic arboretum, puts forward as Tree of the Week, a sweet chestnut in The Byes.

She writes: “In The Byes, not far from the road bridge, there is a splendid old Sweet Chestnut tree (Castanea sativa).

“In the winter I enjoy its twisted, gnarled and multi-coloured bark, in high summer its male catkins which smell of mushrooms, and in autumn, if we are lucky, there is a crop of nuts in their spiny sheaths.

“The bark of young trees is a dull silvery purple and there are some specimens on Salcombe Hill which show this purple colour.

“As the tree becomes older the bark furrows and twists, usually in a clockwise direction. Chestnuts can live to a great age. I wonder how old the one in the Byes is?”

Maureen sent us this photograph of the sweet chestnut.