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Maria Ellis
Maria Ellis
Forestry & Estate
Since joining Castle Howard in 2016 as Forestry and Estate Administrator I have been able to learn all about the Estate’s fascinating woodlands, from the timber industry to tree health and seed harvesting. With a background in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, I have a keen interest in working with and writing about nature which my role at Castle Howard allows me to indulge!

By Maria Ellis  //  Fri 15th December 2017
Tags: Trees, Nature, Tree Nursery
'Of all the trees that are in the wood, the Holly bears the crown'...

By Maria Ellis  //  Tue 7th November 2017
Tags: Trees, Nature, Tree Nursery
The Yew is a tree of mystery. A slippery character, it is contradictory, inscrutable and resists each identity we presume to cloak it with. A shifty, enigmatic species, Taxus baccata can be incredibly old yet eternally young, life-giving yet quick to snatch life away and can...

By Maria Ellis  //  Tue 3rd October 2017
Tags: Trees, Nature, Tree Nursery
I don’t think I can be alone in declaring that autumn is my favourite season. Winter, spring and summer may have their charms but autumn has a certain magic that can captivate and enchant the soul. It is crisp sunny afternoons, clear blue skies and a landscape bathed in a st...

By Maria Ellis  //  Wed 13th September 2017
Tags: Trees, Nature, Tree Nursery
Our relationship with trees is an ancient and intricate connection that shifts and changes over time, from place to place and society to society. Throughout our history, trees and woodlands have provided us with shelter, building resources, food, medicine and recreation but ...

By Maria Ellis  //  Tue 1st August 2017
Tags: Trees, Nature, Tree Nursery
The walnut is a mighty tree – an irrefutable statement and one worthy of shouting from the roof tops, or should that be tree tops? It stands, grand and impressive, with a broad and handsome crown of green leaves, stretching languidly out to bear its prized fruit. Wrapped in ...
By Maria Ellis  //  Wed 5th July 2017
Tags: Tree Nursery, Forestry, Estate
If anyone has read a couple of these blogs before, they’ll probably have noticed that I tend to use this blog as an opportunity to sing the praises of our wonderful native trees. They really are fascinating and beautiful and are an essential part our cultural and natural her...
Hedgerow Gin
By Maria Ellis  //  Tue 6th June 2017
Tags: Farm Shop, Local Supplier
Saturday 10th June 2017 is set to be a very good day for those of us who like a tipple. It’s World Gin Day to be specific, and it allows people to come together guilt-free and appreciate the wonderful drink that is gin with a Sunday immediately afterwards to relax (and recov...
Dog Rose
By Maria Ellis  //  Mon 5th June 2017
Tags: Trees, Nature, Tree Nursery
The prefix ‘dog’, which forms part of the common name of many of our native plants, translates in the botanical world to mean ‘worthless’ in the sense that these species are seen as lacking a characteristic that other closely related plants have in abundance....
By Maria Ellis  //  Tue 30th May 2017
Tags: Farm Shop, Butchery
There’s nothing more reminiscent of the British summer time than a barbecue; with only the mere hint of sunshine and blue skies needed to dust off the BBQ and shake out the picnic blanket. With National BBQ Week taking over from 29th May to 4th June it’s officially the start...
By Maria Ellis  //  Tue 16th May 2017
Tags: Woodland, Estate, Walking
One of the perks of working in the Forestry department at Castle Howard is that, every now and again, I’m allowed to slip away and escape into the woods and with over 2000 acres of woodland, it’s more than enough to get lost in! ...
By Maria Ellis  //  Mon 8th May 2017
Tags: Trees, Hedging, Nature, Tree Nursery
The month of May announces itself with a fanfare (or should that be a tinkling of Morris bells?). The bright and colourful festival that is May Day welcomes in the second half of the year, rejoicing in the warmer weather and the awakening of nature as trees come into leaf an...
Goat Willow
By Maria Ellis  //  Sat 1st April 2017
Tags: Tree Nursery, Forestry, Estate
I think my love of willow trees first begun when I was a child my brothers and I would play under the falling boughs, dashing backwards and forward through the curtains of soft silvery leaves or twirling the branches to make delicate swirling patterns in the water. ...
Crab Apple
By Maria Ellis  //  Wed 1st March 2017
Tags: Tree Nursery, Gardens, Spring
If you get a chance to take a stroll around the Castle Howard grounds this month, you’ll see the silvery-green tips of daffodils poking through the ground and the little bells of snowdrops in scattered drifts across the lawn. ...
By Maria Ellis  //  Wed 1st February 2017
Tags: Forestry, Tree Nursery, Hedges, Wildlife
You might be tempted to think that hazel is too ordinary a choice to feature in a ‘tree of the month’ blog; it’s a native tree and a common sight among our woodlands and hedgerows and is most likely passed by without much consideration or excitement....
Acer Saccharinum
By Maria Ellis  //  Sun 1st January 2017
Tags: Forestry, Tree Nursery, Estate
The start of a new year brings with it a new ‘tree of the month’ and what better way to start the year than with the Acer saccharinum – the silver maple. Not everything about the winter months needs to be dull and dreary and like the New Year, the silver maple brings with it...
By Maria Ellis  //  Thu 1st December 2016
Tags: Tree Nursery, Forestry, Estate
The Zelkova Serrata is a relative of our native Elm but has its origins in Japan, hence its common names Japanese Zelkova or keaki. With a similar appearance to the Elm but with a high resistance to Dutch elm disease, the Zelkova makes an excellent Elm replacement. ...
Silver Birch
By Maria Ellis  //  Tue 1st November 2016
Tags: Forestry, Tree Nursery, Estate
The betula pendula, or the silver birch to give it its common name, is one of the most attractive of the birch family and is our tree of the month this November. ...
By Maria Ellis  //  Mon 10th October 2016
Tags: Forestry, Tree Nursery, Hedges, Estate
Harvest time is once again upon us and here in the Forestry department that means we have been gathering together our buckets, baskets and long handled tree pruners and heading off to hunt along the hedgerows. ...
Betula ‘Royal Frost’
By Maria Ellis  //  Sat 1st October 2016
Tags: Tree Nursery, Forestry, Estate
As a chill creeps into the air on these early autumn days and the temperature begins to drop, it’s fitting to make Betula ‘Royal Frost’ October’s Tree of the Month. ...
By Maria Ellis  //  Thu 1st September 2016
Tags: Tree Nursery, Forestry, Estate
It would be impossible to begin our ‘Tree of the Month’ series with any other than the king of English woodlands, Quercus robur, the English oak. ...