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Saturday 24th July, 2021
Trees for accent
It always happens, every year all the new season trees seem to arrive in the space of a couple of weeks. It has been all hands on deck potting as fast as we can, I think we even had 5 of us all potting at the same time and we have certainly moved through a heap of trees in the past few days. It's here that I just have to mention that the range of roses, fruit and ornamental trees will never be better than right now... well when we have finished potting them all LOL, I believe there are 4 wrapped crates still to do.
If planning a tree lined driveway or avenue then now is the time to get serious as there we have good numbers of trees in but the big question is how far apart to plant them. It's not so easy to answer because as we all know trees grow so it's more about what size are they going to be in what time frame. Over the years we have planted trees down our different driveways. The dilemma is planting a large growing tree, like say our Tilias (European limes), too far apart as they'll look like sticks for way too long, at least the first 10 years... I think that we planted our latest lot at 14 metre intervals as I was prepared to wait and now after three years I can see them lol... I think the raceway they were planted along will look amazing in the 5 to 15 years time frame and then after say 20 years decide what look I want... LOL that's assuming I'm still here!!!
At some point they will touch and at that stage they will begin to stretch upwards. This is due to their neighbouring trees now being too close so they will start to compete for the light. Our original driveway of Tilia were planted 6 metres apart and are now, very clearly, growing into each other, they are around 20, or is it 25 years in the ground. I keep looking at them and thinking... should I be taking out every second one? This can depend on what look you like; individual trees with a space between them or the trees all touching. I do know that they do slow the southerly down and the drive is now very shady in the summer which I also like.
One could always plant them at half the distance with a view to taking out every second one or another option is to plant a faster growing, disposable, tree in between and take them out after, say, 10 years.
One also needs to take into consideration the shape of the specimen tree as there are options of upright trees, the term is fastigate. This means the branches grow almost parallel with the trunk making them very upright and column like. I can again write about the driveway as we also planted Carpinus Betulus Fastigiata or Hornbeam opposite the European Limes and their form is tall and slender. We did originally have magnolia little gem here but there came a point that one or the other had to go and so we removed the Magnolias. I think that our drive is just stunning and I love it in all seasons from spring through to the nakedest of winter... which now lets all the light through.
There are so many choices that you could choose for avenues and I suggest that you cruise through the trees online but a few highlights for me are
Quercus Robur Fastigata an upright English oak tree. A handsome form of the ever enduring Oak that has an upright tight branch formation that grows into a natural column. Lobed green leaves that turn shades of yellow, then brown, before falling late in the winter. Ang ordered these in and they are just huge at around 3 to 3.5 metres with a stem diameter that my hand just fitted around... so big that she wasn't keen to move them in a hurry but if you are hankering for a large instant avenue of upright English oaks then these could be perfect for you. At this point you will have to ask to be shown them... If they are for you then they will also need to be securely staked as will all winter planted trees.
Fastigiate hornbeams are coming too. These are pretty cool and it's what is down my driveway.. Great upright form, stunning in spring with lime green leaves and actually very pretty in the Autumn with yellow leaves. Ours were planted at 7 metres centers.
Plantanus Acerifolia or London plane trees, these do grow big and often seen around here as paddock trees... you will fit many cows under a mature specimen... attractive bark as well... plants are again a large grade but we also have quite a few smaller grades as well.
Flowering cherries are always a superb flowering addition to any avenue, the campanulata forms will be flowering soon if not already in some warmer areas. Felix Jury having that in your face cerise pink flower while Superba has a soft apple blossom pink. These will be followed in quick succession by Awanui another lovely pink yedoensis variety.
Variegated elms are handsome trees with variegated white and green leaves. These grow tall with tall reaching branches and have quite a lacy look.
Golden elms are a perennial favourite with their yellow lemo/ lime coloured leaves. Handsome dome shaped with a great spreading form. Lovely specimens have come in this year including some HW worked examples.
Some feed back
Reading this piece
below I was a little confused as to why you wouldn't just plant a HW in the
first place? Perhaps there are others who are as confused as I am and a
brief explanation in your next newsletter might be useful?
Just to touch on the low worked, these are grafted close to ground level and it's up to you to train the trunk to the height that you desire. We have an avenue of Awanui trees in the garden centre which originated as low worked trees. I purposely planted low worked so that we could crown lift, this means removal of the lower branches, aka limb them up, higher than 1.8m so that customers with trollies could walk under them easily and to be able to plant around and underneath them.
Yes the HW worked 1.8 trees are a good height and look the part as a formed tree from day one as the tree has been formed for you but I wanted a trunk higher that 1.8 and the HW 1.8 trunk doesn't get any taller. I think that my avenue of flowering cherries have an existing trunk height of around 2.5m. I couldn't attain this on a straight trunk using a high work as the graft would have the growth coming from the side of the trunk.
Roses roses rose update
Hmmm... we do have mostly all of these in now but are very frustrated to say that we are still waiting on one supplier to complete the order we have with them and they are running very late. This means that we are now running very low on space holding roses for incomplete orders while we wait for these to arrive to complete the orders. Don't be shy to come collect any partial orders if you are local as that will help us free up some space.
On that note the phones have been ringing red hot and so if we haven't managed to answer then do try us again. With half the team potting the rest of the team have to share the calls between themselves. Please do check your accounts on the website for your order status before ringing us as this will also help at this busy time.
I have always said that change is a constant in a small business and on that note our Cathie, who has been here for over 8 years, is moving to a new town and a change of life. She will be missed in the office as she was pretty handy at most things admin as well as keeping our IT techs on programme (excuse the pun).. so if you know of someone out there wanting a pretty hectic, jack of all trades role in admin, including accounts and phone orders etc and knows quite a bit about plants then send me an email or cv to firstname.lastname@example.org
The nursery is starting to look brim full though not everything in the precise order I like yet, potting first and then a big sort out alphabetically. It's worth a look though and if you come out then start looking out for some of the larger grade stock that come in this week. Often we get field grown stock that has been balled in hessian which means you can plants straight in the ground in it's sacking. Some quick examples are bigger grade Buxus Green Gem and macrophylla and also Griselinia Ardmore Emerald, of note is a pretty cool grade of Cedrus deodara also in Hessian.
Indian Cedar. Cedrus Deodara. This Conifer will grow into a handsome majestic tree if allowed the space to mature. Upright and pyramidal in shape it has evenly spaced branches draped with blue-grey needles of foliage. The branches are slightly pendulous at the tips.
Last weekend of the school holidays, the month is almost gone and spring is just round the corner. Here's hoping you get a nice weekend to enjoy.
Have a good one Cheers Lloyd, Tony and the Wairere team