Monthly Archives: May 2020

Mayday Trees 13

It’s the first of May, four and a half months since we planted the trees on Wild Lea, and high time for an uplifting catchup on their progress. In a word, miraculous. Planted into solid clay, rained on solidly for two more months, then subjected to increasing drought – and they are (nearly) all still there. We’ve lost maybe 4 or 5, but they could sprout later too. The oaks have been a bit of a worry as they are only just now starting to show any sign of life.

Mayday Trees 11

An oak showing signs of life

Contrast this with the two oaks that came from people’s gardens, with a more developed root system and a different planting method because of that (hole dug rather than slot planting). We’ve been told that oaks like a two slot planting – in the shape of a cross – so that the ‘glaze’ of the wall of the clay is broken. Good advice for the future.

All the rest of the trees seemed more than fine with the slot planting, in fact that method plus lots of hay mulch kept them pretty damp even through the dry spell. And ALL the willow cuttings in the Willow Walk have taken! Here’s a quick round up of a selection of trees:

Mayday Trees 14

Crab apple – rather a special one from the Orient! Seems happy enough in the Occident.

Mayday Trees 10

All the birches in the Avenue bar one have survived, though none has put a head above the parapet yet


Mayday Trees 5

Here’s an Alder that HAS ventured forth….

Mayday Trees 12

And a VERY happy Hornbeam!

Mayday Trees 9

This Yew made it, though one of the 3 Yews planted in the Dove corner didn’t; it was a seedling dug up from under a hedge, so not all garden reared trees are superior. I don’t think we dug up enough of its root system

And lastly, a Dogwood and a Hawthorn. Both bursting forth.

I hope all this makes everyone as happy as we are! With more time on my hands, my daily walk is around all the trees, so I’m keeping a good eye on them. We have plans in progress for watering. This week we were saved by the rain, but it wasn’t nearly enough to keep them going for long, so we have bought a large farm-sized water container, and also made sure that our water trough is working and available. The container will go on Dan’s trailer and we’ll get to all the trees that way.

When present restrictions on movement loosen up, we are planning to invite everyone involved in this project to an Open Day. Can’t wait!

We are already thinking about Stage 2 planting: the Wood. Not just thinking, but doing; Maya was alerted to some oaks that needed a home as a local nursery had been forced to close, so she and Cara planted 20 up by the entrance to Wild Lea, ready for the Woodland planting next Autumn. We’ll be in touch about that again, and will be looking for volunteers/benefactors again, and arranging another inspiring and heartwarming planting weekend.





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