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Trees (Native British)

34 35 This small tree, often occurring as a large shrub, is native throughout Britain, growing on woodland edges and in hedgerows. Blackthorns thorny and unapproachable thickets, formed by vigorous suckering, give protection to other flora and fauna within by warding off grazing animals. Blackthorn is an excellent hedging plant although it is capable of lodging many a septic splinter. Often confused with Hawthorn in winter its bark is smoother and less deeply fissured. A Blackthorn Winter is a long one as the trees often blossom in March during cold east winds. The profusion of small white flowers encourage the hedgelayer to press on, as the stems are less brittle at this time. The wood has light sapwood and purplebrown heartwood and is used by woodturners, for walking sticks and rake teeth. The blueblack fruits known as sloes are made into jams and wine, and are also used to improve the flavour of cheap gin. An excellent firewood. Faggots of thorn brush traditionally baked the sweetest bread. BlACkTHORN Prunus spinosa
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