This year I was going to try and back fill the tree field with more local tree stock. The first phase was taking cuttings from the willow that seems to be growing more quickly for me. I’m not sure what variety of willow it is but it has seeded in the tree field in the pond area, presumably from the trees that line the river bank.
I had already transplanted some of the nicer seedlings that were growing in what should be the track area, but there are a lot of other seedlings coming up beside the pond and in amongst the other trees. I’m not going to bother to move them. Willow should take easily from cuttings, so I just selected some longish twigs, removing which should improve the shape of the trees, and cut them out. I then removed the side branches and cut the main stem (and any thicker suitable side stems) into approx 10 inch lengths.
I didn’t count the number of cuttings I achieved, so I don’t know whether it was 100, 75 or 130 potential trees. I have pushed them at fairly close spacing (6 ft?) in the damper areas where there seems to have been failure of the previous plantings. The area by the pond which is very damp, lost a fair few birch and aspen – damaged by voles mainly I think. That area has been infilled completely. I have also made a start up by the southern border just under the hump.
This area had birch and hazel, but is often quite damp due to springs coming out at the base of the hump. It is also on the boundary where the prevailing wind comes from. The hazel struggled to compete with the grass and we lost quite a few. The ones left are starting to do better as the other trees are coming on. The birch are some of the ones that have suffered bad die back and I think it’s that they don’t like the damp soil. The willow however should do better. I’ve used up all the cuttings I took from down by the pond area. There’s still more room but some of the saplings transplanted some years there are now pretty big so I should be able to take more cuttings from these to finish off.