Seedlings and wood sources

We’re just back from a week in hot & sunny Ireland with Monica’s family in the West. I’ve also been to Martin Crawford’s forest garden in Devon and am further inspired to launch our own community effort. As a by-product of that visit, I’ve decided not to import firewood from a supplier in Sowerby. Martin suggested that, due to their source—tree surgeons around Halifax— the logs would be likely to bring disease to Warland’s trees.

I’ve managed to plant most of the seedlings that were unlikely to survive, left in the alleyway. I couldn’t stand to see them die without some chance. The little alder coppices are designed to provide building material for the zig-zag paths; and I hope the ash will provide firewood to the campsite until the next ice-age. I love the way our combined design is creating a beautiful, practical woodland. To use up the willow, I scythed some reeds and planted in the dampest ground; this suggested to me that dried reeds could be an on-site mulching material that could save us importing straw.

Today’s planting was the last I plan to do until Monica returns: the remaining fifty or so sickly birch and alder seedling were inserted into the screefs on the burnt area to take their chance. This evening’s rain will settle them in nicely. A dozen or so oak that were originally planted there have come back, plus one wild oak, so I think Warland Wood is going to have happy trees.

We’ve spent many hours beating up, mainly because a lot of the canes were really too thin for their job. I’ve had to dip into the supply that was left to replace a hundred or so that had broken or couldn’t be tapped in adequately. Next season, I plan to do some quality control on planting days to save us this task. Overall, though, the success rate is very high, as predicted, with many trees emerging from their tubes already and not much rot or animal damage. The wet weather has suited them, I think.

The 1,000 ash seedlings are doing well, huddled together in the alley, with occasional watering. I may use a few of these to create arbours or avenues but most will be waiting for Treesponsibility to return.

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