Tree planting in a wintry England is not a glamorous pursuit, be assured. It’s a lot of fun though if you like hard work, fresh air and mud. To add to the scene, Tom not only brought out our puppy to tag along with us, but also had the cat nestled into his jacket to plonk into the wilds of the back field- her first dry day excursion for the whole of winter. For the first time in her fur basket lined life, Tom is encouraging her to embrace the outdoors as a new play area. To her credit she’s adapting well to the shock… although she still shakes the wet from her feet every time time she takes a step.
The ground has thawed and dried out and the snow has melted downhill, river bound and beyond. It’s perfect conditions for the trees to go in. First of all we took all out collected cardboard from the supermarkets, white-good stores and our local bakery to the back field and began to remove any plastic masking tape. This is what we will use to mulch around the trees.
Next, we hauled out our equipment, trees, mycorhizal root inoculate and few wheelbarrow-fulls of manure-ry straw, soiled silage from the dairy farm up the road. We landed the first few strikes of the hoe and peeled back the grass. Then, with the hole dug we placed the bare tree in the hole, careful to give the roots ample space to spread out. Scoops of compost, mycorhizal mix and the soil back in on top. We placed cardboard around the tree and a layer of heavy soiled silage to keep it all from flying away in the wind and to keep the grass from competing with the young tree in springtime.