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New Trees, old litter and an added extra!

For most of these photos I will be highlighting both the white tapes and the newly planted trees with arrows – it makes them easier to see.

I’m sure everyone who visited the woodland wondered why these white tapes suddenly appeared. But there was nothing sinister going on – it was just marking out where new trees should be planted.

Why plant new trees?

Last year there were 19 trees felled as they were dangerous. I covered this in the post Goodbye Old Friends. As there is a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) which covers the whole woodland this means that there are certain legal obligations which have to be complied with. One of those is that where a tree is felled – it has to be replaced within a set timescale.

When you’re planting a tree you will want to plant it where it has the best chance of growing. One of the major factors is light. If you look back at the Different Habitats page you’ll see that some areas in the woodland get really nice amounts of light – while others are really quite shaded. So, the white tapes were placed in areas where there were those gaps in the canopy which allowed the light to filter through.

Magic happened

So, on 27 April 2024 the Maryburgh Community Woodland group and the Maryburgh Mens Shed met up to plant trees, and pick litter. We were given instruction on how to plant a bare rooted tree or a tree with a small cell of soil around it. Honestly, I thought you’d just dig a hole, put the tree in and then fill the hole back up again. OH NO! Not at all. This way meant minimal disturbance of the soil which was great. Also, it was much easier and less work. So, we split the ground with the spade, and got it down to ground level (or lower if you could). Then, after a bit of too and fro movement with the spade there was a big enough area to push the tree into. This is the weird bit – you got the tree down so all its roots were underground and looked to be down the full length of the spade, and that’s the depth to which I would have normally planted. But – when we pulled the spade out we pushed the tree down even further. It then dropped several inches further into the soil. I can’t get my head round where this “extra” hole came from.

Biodegradable Protectors

Anyway, we then made sure we filled the gap by treading and heeling in the soil. Then the stake had to be hammered in. It was great, as prior to the event, the Mens Shed had been given branches and they had removed the side shoots and made a point at the end – which made hammering in the stake really easy. Finally, we fitted a protective cover over the tree and tied it off to the stake. This is the point my husband will point out that on half of the trees I planted I nearly got it the wrong way round. My defence is that most of the protectors I’ve seen have the tree attached to the stake and both are put in the protector. But this seems to be a far better way of doing it.

The tube protectors were quite strange. They were made of a biodegradable material which felt very different to the usual plastic protectors. It will be really interesting to see how they work out and how long it will take before they start breaking down. It will be really nice to see no plastic left hanging around the woodland once the tree has outgrown the protector. Unfortunately, I’ve seen many other woodlands littered with outgrown plastic protectors.

Swap equipment

Once the trees were planted it was back to the meeting point to swap our hammers and spades for bin liners and litter pickers. We all spread throughout the woodland and started picking. It was disappointing to see so much litter but there was much less collected than the litter pick last November. We picked a variety of items including: single use vapes; dog poo bags – full and empty, and alcohol bottles and cans. The oddest item – an champagne bottle! Sadly it was empty.

An Extra

Some of the group decided that they would tackle the path beside the “rain garden”.  OK, it’s not really a rain garden it’s really just a sad little bit of land which is not attached to the woodland, and has become a dumping ground over the decades.  Particularly builders rubble and left over wood.  Anyway, many hands made the path beside it look good, weed free and much wider.  Now people will be able to use it.

Before and After.....

This blog was originally published on:

29 April 2024

and subsequently modified on:  

29 April 2024