Hedgerow grafting

These photos were taken on the 23rd July.

Left shows a Pitmaston Duchess pear cleft grafted onto a hawthorn. The graft has taken well but hasn’t put on much extension growth. This is probably due to the excessive shade created by nearby trees.

The photo on the right shows my most successful graft this season. It’s a Doyenne du Commice cleft grafted onto a multi stemmed hawthorn of about (or over) 100 years old (I’m estimating this by the 2 foot diameter of the coppiced stool).

This tree is in full sun and the scion has put on over 2 ft extension growth.

This photo on the left shows the same tree before I removed the 6 ft high bracken and the huge amount of thorn regrowth.

This just goes to highlight how much work is involved in such a project. In order to ensure that the scion recieves as much sunlight as possible and as much of the trees food reserves as possible, a lot of maintenance is required in removing excess regrowth and local vegetation.

On the right is a Pitmaston Duchess whip and tongue grafted onto a hwathorn shoot that has regrown as a result of the hedge being laid last year.

Even though this graft was buried deep in nettles and thorn regrowth, it is still thriving.

Tree Nursery

The new nursery site was topped last week.

I decided to top it rather than take hay off it in order to keep the fertility on site.

Today I ran a mole plough through the site. This was a very impressive sight. Three tines are dragged through the soil at a depth of up to 18 inches.

The reason for this was to break up the heavy compaction that has been caused by years of heavy cattle being run on it. The soil will now have improved drainage, better airation, which will encourage increased microbial activity, which will in turn encourage a greater build up of humus, and therefore healthier trees.

The next steps are to rotovate to break up the thick clods of grass, plough, lime and sew the new sward mix.

I will be using prilled lime initially. It was my intention to use a slower releasing lime but I am struggling to find anyone to spread it for me in the next week. (I am told normal fertiliser spreaders won’t spread the larger lime granules)

The prilled lime is fast acting so it will benefit the new sewing immediately. I will then apply a slower releasing lime once the local (and olny, it seems) contractor is in my area.

This picture shows the ‘scars’ left by the mole plough.