The woods – what next?

As of 29th March 2015 all of the bare-rooted trees have been planted. What next?

Lots of things to finish off, check and tidy up. In the wind a few tree-guards are blowing over – stakes not quite far enough in the ground? A small collection of potted trees still to plant (not quite as urgent as bare-rooted trees). A wild flower meadow to plant on the subsoil left from digging the pond. Grass around trees to deal with. Lots of old tree-guards and stakes from previous tree planting to collect up.

I need to think plan and construct a storage building and sort out the vehicle parking space. The ponds are draining away too fast and will probably need lining. Fencing and other infrastructure to consider.

Lots more cuttings and seedlings to go into the tree nursery and a solar-powered irrigation system to build before the summer.

Brambles are encroaching from the hedges – need to fight them back a bit. Himalayan Balsam and Ragwort to be kept in check (fortunately not very much of either).

Planning the central area that we’ve left empty – this will be an orchard and forest garden area to produce lots of fruit and other edibles for years to come. There are about 40 fruit trees so far, I expect to plant a lot more next winter.

Possibly some tree thinning in the 12-year-old woods which are now too dense in places.

A few summer leisure activities to share with everybody who’s helped get to where we are now – it’s a great place for wildlife spotting, walking and occasional nights camping.

Next winter I’ll consider replacing any of this years trees which haven’t survived. This could be 10% or more, or far less, it will depend on how well we’ve planted them and how dry the weather is over the next few months.

In a few years the hedges we’ve planted will need laying, and some of the trees will be ready to coppice – new skills to learn.

The trees are all planted

Mission accomplished! 3996 bare-rooted trees (and shrubs) all planted – about 7 acres of new native broadleaved woodland created. Thank you thank you everybody who joined me to plant trees over the last three months, and everybody else who was enthusiastic about it (I fed off your enthusiasm).

The weather was amazing, more time spent in tee-shirts than waterproofs. Now let’s have some rain – the trees will enjoy it!

Here are some photos from three months of tree planting.

January:

February:

March:

(edit – these images ate most of the disc space on my web server so I’ve compressed them a bit – if you want a copy of a picture you’re in please email me for the hi-res original)

Tree-ometer

Progress to date? We’re over 80% done. Most of what remains is to be planted with canes and spiral guards rather than stakes and tree guards, which will make then quicker and easier. We should be finished by the end of March – not a moment too early as the trees we’re planting are showing signs of root and bud growth.

 

Progress!

progressProgress with tree planting over the last fortnight has been amazing – thank you everybody! There’s still a long way to go (about a third of the trees are still to be planted) but most of the harder-to-plant stuff is done (650 oak with gnarly roots and bushy tops are now safely in the ground). What’s left is mostly slender trees which are faster to plant and over 60% of the remainder is to be planted with canes and spiral guards (much faster and simpler then stakes and tree guards as there’s no hammering and no cable ties). Everything is marked out and ready to plant.

Planting might be complete in as little as three more weekends (ie. done before the end of March) – which is good because some varieties are starting to come out of dormancy and so need to be done ASAP.

You can find regular updates and loads of photos on my facebook.