Friday, 11 January 2019

Planting continues

A murky January day getting on with planting. We've begun this annual winter task a bit late , normally trying to get it done before Christmas. There won't be as much to do this year. Only planning to plant  about 200  this season.  We started with creating a small Hazel Grove  in an area of the wood colonised by birch , choosing a spot with a lot of bramble in it, which clearly gets more sun than other areas .  The hazel should do well here, with the added bonus of it eventually shading out the bramble . It's all about the light levels  - too much light  and an area is taken over by bracken and bramble, too little, and nothing much will grow.   We are always conscious of trying to strike the best balance. We are using recycled tree tubes, and the stakes are  poles from another area of the wood where there is a lot of neglected hazel. We will pollard  this before the Spring to improve its health and strength and harvest their very useful, strong and straight  poles at the same time.   We might also try a bit of experimental coppicing, but are a bit wary of doing this because of the somewhat diminishing, but still present  chance of deer depredation. They love fresh green hazel shoots!

The hazel poles have the bonus of often producing roots, which will  double the number of  plants

A patch of bramble which will very quickly increase in size if left another season.We have plenty of the stuff for wildlife, but un-managed it will very soon take over  a large area 

The soil here was pretty good for planting - not too much sandstone.

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