Friday, 11 April 2014

Mighty oaks from little acorns grow

Of all the trees studding the parkland at Woodhayes, our personal favourites are the majestic oaks. According to my faithful method of wrapping a piece of string around their girth to estimate their age, our oldest oaks date back 300 years. They have been an integral part of our rural landscape, the farm cattle using them for shelter from the Devon sunshine or more often that not, from the rain...  

It is always sad to lose one of our faithful landmarks. The gas pipeline laid in the late 1980's affected many of them and several of our gnarled, old friends have died, so 2014 seemed the right time to put into action our tree replenishment plan.

Over the last few weekends Brian Clapp, myself and our helper Daisy, the labrador, have been putting up the tree guards. Knocking in the heavy posts was back-breaking work but pretty satisfying and not bad for my waistline either... Our sturdy new tree guards should keep the roe deer at bay, who seem to find the little green buds on the trees particularly tantalizing.

The 15 replacements trees came them from Dulford Nurseries, Cullompton who are always a font of tree knowledge. 7 were Quercus robur (English Oak) and 8 Quercus Petraea (Sessile or Cornish Oak). They all went in one wet Friday and seem to be thriving. 

This weekend we will be killing the weeds around the bases of the trees to give them the best start possible. Watch this space for updates.

New tree and our helper Daisy

Mature oak tree