After starting gathering seeds in July, only a few seeds remain to be collected. Holly and Spindle, plus a few Alder Buckthorn aren't yet mature enough. Mid. November will effectively see the completion of this task and the, now full, stratification boxes can overwinter the bagged seeds in their new home.
While continuous weeding remains an important job in this surprisingly wet and mild Autumn, we have also found time to begin building a new structure. In Preparation for incoming orders for our bare-rooted trees, we are building a new bed from scratch. Timber is being cut, posts made and a different set of woodworking skills utilised by our volunteers.
In Specialbranchtrees terms this is effectively the beginning of our year. We have been out collecting Wild Cherry, Silver Birch, Hazel and Rowan.
The trees and shrubs we collect from appear to have produced an abundant crop of fruit, seeds, cones and nuts this year.
All these seeds/nuts etc.. need differing forms of processing in order to achieve decent germination rates next year. Luckily the weather has been kind to us on Fridays and we can sit in the sunshine and happily stratify all day!
To celebrate twenty years of our nursery we have booked a stall at Bentley Wood fair this September. Half of the stall will be devoted to showing members of the public how to grow trees from seed. The other half will show off (and sell) some of our pot grown specimens.
The pot-grown plants have all been fed, watered, pampered and now pruned. They do look in splendid condition for Bentley.
Very contrasting weather days mean the seedlings have to be protected from the fierce sun, on the odd day the sun is visible.
The cold winds and rain also have their affect on plant growth, especially at this early stage. Watering, not watering, plus covering up and uncovering. Second guessing an English summer is never easy, but this one is proving especially difficult.
Luckily we have an excellent group of keen volunteers who are nurturing the seedlings through their early stages of development.
This represents the first update from our nursery...ever!!
We have just finished transplanting seedlings and re-organising our beds. The beds look neat and tidy with an impressive selection of plants now growing well.
The wild service tree transplants are budding, so hopefully the plants have taken.
All of the plants we are taking to Bentley Woodfair are now in pots too.
There are only seven bags of seeds left in the stratification box now, waiting to germinate. The tables are groaning under the weight of seed trays with germinated seedlings growing well within them.
The seeds gathered from last year have had a very good success rate so far. Hopefully, once transplanted out to our seed beds, the plants will all thrive.
Finally, the hazel coppice is coming into leaf, both orchards are flowering, the meadow seed has taken, primroses abound and a grass snake was spotted basking by the pond....it must be Spring!!