Tree planting and management

Over the weekend we helped my parents plant some deciduous trees in one of the fields adjacent to the existing conifer plantation that is being felled. This deciduous wood will add to trees planted in 2008 and 2010. Both these plantation contain mainly ash trees, though there are a small number of oak, cherry, rowan, birch and chestnut.

Recently a new fungal disease affecting ash and has been spreading rapidly though Europe.Β  Ash dieback disease (Chalara fraxinea) was first recorded in Ireland in 2012. So far our local trees appear to be okay but once again the drawback in planting monocultures of trees becomes obvious.

Over the winter we have been managing the trees closet the house. This involve cutting out lower branches and where possible having just one leader stem.

With the threat of ash dieback the Forestry Service are grant aiding more oak woodlands and that is what we planted over the weekend. The majority of the trees planted were pedunculate oak (Quercus robur), but also sessile oak (Quercus petraea), rowan, birch and Scots pine.

"Mole hills"

“Mole hills”

A digger effectively creates “mole hills” of soil which are then planted with tree whips. The rain sodden soil meant it was pretty grubby work, though my eldest didn’t seem to mind.

It will be interesting to see how the oak fair. Some of the ash trees planted in 2010 have done well though many of those planted in 2008 are still smaller than the later planted trees.

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22 thoughts on “Tree planting and management

    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      It was a case of “many hands make light work” – so with four adults it wasn’t too bad. The nearer end of the field as in the photo was peaty soil so easy enough to plant but higher up the field turns to really sticky clay, which is pretty hard to plant in!

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  1. Miranda McCoy

    There’s a lot of trees there! I helped plant a couple of trees in my lottery finding days and Bob Flowerdew was my instructor. How long did this take you to get all these planted?! The pasture looks very healthy. Loving my Godson’s wellies. Well done methinks xx

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    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      Well trust you to have a celeb instructor – mind you I have a lot of time for Mr Flowerdew, an excellent gardener. Ah yes, your godson was covered head to toe (literally) in mud!

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    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      Yes the end the photo was taken was very peaty – as you work to the back of the field it rises and turns to thick sticky clay:)

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      1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

        Mostly our own compost. We also get manure from a couple of the local farmers and this year I’m trying seaweed on one of the veg beds. I also use a ground up seaweed in poly as soil conditioner

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      2. Eliza Waters

        Seaweed is a good amendment. When I lived near the ocean I used it. There was a farm that raised prize cattle and they made compost from their manure, mixed with seaweed and crab shells from a nearby processing plant. It was awesome stuff!

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    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      There used to be rabbits in these field but they declined during the cold winters of 2010 and 2011 and have never recovered. Hopefully numbers will remain low till the trees have grown to a about rabbit size!

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