2021 started at a slow pace in the Community Tree Nursery. In the firm grip of winter, the saplings have remained dormant and quiet, ensuring that our volunteers have time to continue with the other tasks in the Community Tree Nursery, rather than direct sapling care. The first large sapling orders of the year are once such task, which they took to with gusto.
Two main orders have been completed so far this year. Essex Wildlife Trust contacted us and asked for 110 saplings to fill out an area near one of their visitor centres. We happily obliged, providing a mix of species including; Alder, Walnut, Beech and Elder. Belhus Woods Country Park also got in touch, asking for species to help support their dormouse project and shrub-land work. Here we focused on Hazel, a wonderfully productive tree and a firm favourite of many woodland species.
The snow in early February has not helped speed up processes either, but does give a good opportunity to clean and sharpen out tools. If you have gardening equipment yourself, I would recommend giving it a go during this less active period, you’ll be thankful you did when the busy spring season comes around. And what better to test your handy work on than cutting up some branches from winter pruning, so they will decompose faster over the next 18 months.
Winter is also when we collecting cuttings from trees, which are harder to grow from seed. This year, for the first time, we have collected cuttings from White Willow, Crack Willow and Aspen. We’re hopeful these will grow well this year, so watch this space!
If you’re undertaking your own planting project, why not contact us. The Community Tree Nursery has over 300 native, locally grown saplings for sale this year which should be planted by early April at the latest. Whether you need some for a small back garden hedgerow, a larger wooded area or just that right tree for the right spot, contact us to find out how we can help. Either visit us at the Forest Centre, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
To read past Tree Nursery Blogs visit the Thames Chase website here.