Planting trees – watch this space!

Single Oak

Single Oak

After a dull, rainy day on Saturday the better weather on Sunday afternoon meant a burst of activity was both necessary and unavoidable.

Finally the trees that had been collected the week before could be planted after spending a week in their bags in an outbuilding.

As bare root plants, I suppose they might have lasted one more week with a quick check and maybe some water on their roots but I’m much happier  now knowing that the job has been done.

This first batch was intended to provide some much needed diversity to the existing shelter belt by adding some more native broad-leaf trees. There are already quite a few very old beech and oak trees but far more larch/pine which are getting past their best.

For those with a more detailed interest in trees, this order consisted of the following:

4 x FAGUS SYLVATICA (Common Beech)
4 x QUERCUS ROBUR (English Oak)
5 x BETULA PENDULA (Silver Birch)
3 x BETULA PUBESCENS (Downy Birch)

From my point of view, one of the unexpected joys of planting trees for the first time was the slow realisation that all your work will take years to develop which is such a contrast to the more immediate gratification of planting vegetable seeds.

It has been suggested that some of our trees are well into their second century which puts day-to-day life into perspective a little!

Most of this new planting was to fill an existing gap where some older trees had obviously come down long ago but never been replaced.  A couple of the English Oak were planted elsewhere though to fill out some spots before any gaps develop.

Time will tell how successful my efforts have been (a great deal of time in fact) but by the end of the afternoon I was certainly glad the work was finished!

Filling an empty patch of woodland

Filling an empty patch of woodland

A gap waiting to be filled

A gap waiting to be filled



    • Much of the visible close planting is the hawthorn because I hope to end up with a couple of decent “clumps” (if that’s the correct term). This can hopefully be expanded in future years by taking cuttings.

      You’re right about the birches though as I read somewhere online about planting closer together. I’m not sure whether that’s for the benefit of the plants or just for aesthetic reasons but I planted mixed pairs of downy and silver birch close together to try that out.

      If I remember correctly birches are relatively fast growing (compared to oak for example) so if necessary I could always thin them out in about 8-10 years to get some handy firewood!

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