Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Anyone for an Epicormic trim?

Genuine intrepid daredevils. There really is no other way to describe tree surgeons, particularly for someone who finds scaling a common step ladder, rather daunting. In my defense, I am 6ft3 tall...

March 2011

Months of planning, including the submission and approval of required planning permission process, had finally come to fruition. Friday the 18th of March, saw the long anticipated arrival of A.G.U. Treecraft, our tree surgeons. The lengthy laundry list of required jobs, meant that they came with a team of four, and oodles of terribly exciting looking machinery. One of which, a strapping shredder, probably most highly anticipated by yours truly. You see, the kitchen garden and fruit cage are in dire need for some bark/chippings for the paths. It was near to impossible, not to get excited about seeing, the ever mounting, pile of home-made chippings, take form.

There is certainly much satisfaction to be gained, from knowing that much needed work is being professionally done, whilst we just stand and watch. It is probably accurate to deduce, that most of us gardeners work terribly hard to make those borders bloom and/or to ensure that kitchen gardens provide copious amounts of delicious produce. Without hard work, none of that will ever happen. How refreshing therefore, to see so much good work, being completed without, even one finger being lifted on our part.

Sickly trees were felled, stumps were removed and where so required special trimming and/or thinning of branches. Apart from the fact that the garden, and specified trees, needed the work done, this particular company reinstated my confidence in outsourcing. So often, companies or individuals are hired to do specific jobs, but one is left with (below) average work and sometimes even consequent damage. A.G.U. Treecraft were quite incredible. Not just professional and knowing their craft, but such care was taken, to ensure that their work did not impair the garden. Despite worries, the actual tree felling, did not damage surrounding plants in the garden; the heavy machinery was carefully handled without harming borders, plants, or even the lawn. All that needed to be felled, came down gradually and securely. Consequently, chopped up into practical sized logs, branches shredded, twigs swept up and even the remaining saw dust, blown away. It was just a pleasure to 'work' with them, and the garden looks so much the better for it.

One of the more impressive tree care tasks, was the Epicormic Trimming of the Lime tree. This enormous, but incredibly handsome tree, is crucial to the garden and yet in much need of care and attention. The garden has altered over the years, where the boundary of field-to-garden changed. Many years ago, this tree was part of the field, and thereby at the mercy of a varied range of greedy grazers. One can only assume, that those grazers enjoyed the odd nibble of the, then young, Lime. Consequently, the tree developed numerous suckering shoots, growing profusely in its crown.

 Before Epicormic trimming
Over the years, a dense matting of twigs developed, putting the tree at risk from damage and rot. The official term is Epicormic growth; defined as those shoots (or suckers) arising from activated buds situated (as in our case) on the main stem, at the base of the crown. It also commonly appears on lower end of the tree trunk. Removal is cumbersome, time consuming and entails ample courage.

 After Epicormic trimming
Just as it was for A.G.U. Treecraft, we look for specialised craftsmen in the local village magazine. Too often, these local media are overlooked and many have sadly perished. Granted, many do look prehistoric and could do with an acute face lift, but they still represent an invaluable information source. One can only recommend similar craftsmen, nurseries and alike, to use these local tools to appeal to their market. For those of you looking to flog us something interesting, do advertise it in the local/village media. We will be looking!

And as for the resultant mountain of lovely home-made chippings? No time to settle, but immediately wheeled out in droves. Just as outlined in the plans for the 2011 Kitchen Garden, the paths are now ready and waiting. All we need now is the vegetables....

Kitchen Garden March 2011
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9 comments:

  1. Your tree looks so much better. It's amazing what expert tree work can accomplish. It sure is expensive though.

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  2. Thanks Petra.
    I enjoyed reading about your over-grown Lime tree... quite a transformation! And great lighting in the second photo also.

    I am contemplating making some daring cuts on our own smaller trees to help them grow better in the future. This was encouraging to see the end result of yours.

    Thanks, Julie

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  3. I think you've made a beautiful old tree very happy. Take care with your wood chips - as they are fresh, they will be very nitrogen hungry and will compete with your plants for the nitrogen in the soil. I read somewhere that you can 'dress' them with Growmore to prevent this.
    Happy Gardening!
    Pen

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  4. Delighted to find you via Blotanical.... following you there and in my google reader.
    Your kitchen garden: I'm green with envy!!
    Cheers
    Alice
    aka Alice's Garden Travel Buzz
    & Bay Area Tendrils

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  5. The tree look great now! And I agree - no climbing trees for me - that is best left up to the professionals. Your kitchen garden is beautiful. It will be gorgeous when the vegetables are filling up the beds.

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  6. Carolyn and Julie, thank you for the kind comment. In terms of expense, indeed there is a price tag, but the tree is more valuable, so worth it. Certainly recommend sorting out trees that require the care, they look so much the better for it. Sounds silly, but the Lime looks as if it's breathing a sigh of relief...
    Penny, thank you. I had heard something about that. I was hoping that as the chips are on the paths, the beds would be fine. Although, will make sure to add additional nitrogen/grow more. Great tip - much appreciated.
    Alice and HolleyGarden, thank you very kind. Much work to be done in the Kitchen Garden though! And yes, I will definitely keep my feet firmly on the ground...!!!

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  7. The Experts make it look so easy don't they? :)
    How lovely your tree looks afte it's Spring 'Hair Cut'. Mo

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  8. Have you decided yet what veg is going where? The bed design looks like an old-fashioned herb garden. And I'm inordinately jealous of that lovely brick wall. You should get some good peaches.

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  9. Hi Mark. Thank you. For this part of the wall, we are growing (fan) plums and greengages. No peach yet, but am very keen! In terms of vegetables, decisions have been made although, changes are already creeping in! Potatoes in the far back, broad beans, dwarf and climbing beans, kale (nero, red, purple and dwarf), chard (silver, rhubarb and bright lights), leeks, elephant garlic, lettuces, culinary herbs, artichokes, lots of beetroot, and mange tout. Some of the potatoes are already in, but the rest is growing in the greenhouse.

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