Tree Huggers and Reed Pluggers

Tuesday, April 2nd 2013

With a break in the weather, fourteen volunteers spent a very busy day here planting 22 fruit trees to make two small orchards, and 1300 reeds to act as a wind break on the wetland.

A mixture of Apple, Plum, Cherry, Damson and Green Gage have been planted to provide a valuable food source for birds in the future.  The trees were planted on mounds to aid drainage as this is a reasonably wet site.

The first step in planting these trees was removing roots from the mound and digging the hole for the tree to sit in. This needed to be wide and shallow to encourage the roots to spread out.

Hole Digging

Once the hole was prepared the tree was chosen and placed in it.

A mixture of soil, compost and ash was then used to fill the holes, making sure the tree was not too deep or shallow so the root collar was just at ground level.  The soil was then firmed around the base of the tree.

A small stake was then used to support the tree low down.

As there are several deer on site we need to use metal deer guards to protect the trees until they are established.  Two stakes were driven into the ground at an angle close to the base of the tree.

The guard is then secured around these keeping the tree safe from grazing deer.

By midday all 22 of the fruit trees had been carefully planted in the two small orchard areas, however, that was not the only job for today!

Phragmites reeds have been bought with the aim of establishing a small reed bed along the wetland edge.  It is hoped in time this will provide shelter and nesting areas for some of the wading birds found here.  With the snow now (mostly) gone we could finally get these out of the workshop and into the ground - a good thing as several of the shoots had begun to sprout.

The team worked hard and within no time all 1300 had been planted!

Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard today to achieve all of this, it really is remarkable what you can get done with a good band of volunteers!

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