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.