When an area is coppiced, cut back to a stool close to the ground, the tree often fails to re-grow. The massive sweet chestnut stool below clearly did not survive a coppicing operation some five of six years ago and an opportunist birch has come up in the centre.
This is just the sort of bare, disturbed ground that birches like as a seed bed. The chestnut is actually not quite dead and a few yellowing autumn leaves can seen on a surviving sprout on the left of the stool.
Not far away is another chestnut that must have blown over some years back but, despite having most of its roots torn out of the ground has successfully sent up new shoots at right angles to some of the old poles.
It is interesting to speculate about what might happen to the tree when these pole dancers become too heavy for the branch from which they arise.