Saving Young Trees
|Convenor: Philip Evans||Vacancies|
May 8th: Late Spring still. Our plants have had their early leaves nibbled off (with their woody shoots where not inside the protector ). They then sprouted leaves again, bathed in warm sun for a good week and sprouted leaves and shoots again, then endured ten days of hard winter frost especially at night. Every leaf not in a rabbit protector shrivelled to a brown lump. But inside the protectors are the living leaves, saved from the frost. There is not one leaf to be seen as you walk past– but they are there. Our second-hand protectors , collected over the years, have done well. There are 24 young surviving trees, mostly small trees of hedgerow such as maple, hawthorn and wild plum, a couple of wild cherries and one oak . They need to be watered, and water is available – from the Town Drain which carries ground water along the edge separating Little Wembley from the Rugby pitch. The water is there, but you have to be a gymnast to get it, and you need to have someone on the shore, roped to your waist ! We aim to meet as Lock-Down ends, trusting that new buds will grow up for us to see again.
April 202l – late Spring: All the floods have gone, and we have managed to plant several young trees, more of hedge size than tree size - hawthorns, wild plum spindle, and a couple of wild cherries. The work we have done is not impressive as very few have any leaves on. We had a combined 'Planting & Picnic' afternoon to celebrate the (near) end of this lot of lock-down. The cold north-east wind and the need to social-space shortened the time together, but at least the sun shone down on our efforts. Planting begins again in September- October.
March 2021 – Early Spring report: Under the aegis of Peggy McGregor of the Assets committee and Chair of Pride in Beccles committee, we have now started planting. We have had to wait for flooding to subside on half or more of the land. Over 2 week-ends some 30 young tree have been planted in land that had dried out enough, the intention being to put in plants in to an irregular thickness of 3 to 5 yards around the edge. The centre will be left because it floods, but some wet-loving trees will be tried. As we now need 20 or 30 more tree saplings, we have approached U3A treasury for funds. We do have 15 to 20 very young plants in our home nursery. We are still in Lock-Down, so only our Beccles members can really manage planting, but in maybe six weeks we shall be able to work at the approved social distance, and of course, outside. (ii) Checking on last year's planting, four out of ten Oak saplings died, probably because they were planted late(May/ June); despite watering the land was very dry and many trees got 'woolly aphid'. Let's hope we'll get enough into the ground while they can start growing.
January 2021 Winter report: The project involving our proposal to Beccles C.C. for Little Wembley, a patch of ground near the skate park, has been started but has gone forward very slowly. When first seen in Summer it looked as if the project of "re-wilding" this area, currently covered on lush grass with nettles, thistles, and reed, would be straightforward. Further visits in late autumn and winter showed that the flooding that was foretold was extensive, covering over half the area. However a day of planting wet-loving species showed that further planting might survive if plants can avoid being de-barked by rabbits and deer. Protecters have been collected, but we have now gone onto deep lockdown, and work its suspended. On 15th Jan our days inspections attended by the Mayor of Beccles Mayor Ashley Leve whose advice we were glad to hear was similar to our own "re-wilding' plan. Currently we cannot do any work on Little Wembley as we are in deep "lock-down".
Autumn 2021 One of our group who volunteers at Clinks Care Farm at Toft Monks had a request from the owner to plant trees where any in a 5 acre planting had died. About ten members set out with spades saplings etc etc cand spent two or three hours filling gaps.
IN various gardens we have a number of young trees ready for planting, one of which have been used to replace those that did not survive the dry Summer. As before, we need to search for more sites for planting trees.
1st July 2020 Report
Emerging from the standstill of Corona Virus, our Group finds that, of those who have managed last Autumn to save trees and plant them out, they have either come into full leaf or suffered from some kind of misfortune. The losses come eg. from protectors blown off, hence, death by browsing; or death by freezing / drying out, or death by unexpected happening (trampling by cows). We lost a quarter of our stock, mostly small plants.But we have 40 young trees previously saved from certain death by strimmer &c., of sizes from the 4-leaf stage to over 6 ft tall, all native trees. The majority are young Oaks, which seem to come up anywhere and everywhere.
There is an urgent need to find sites to plant these trees. If we just feel a need to plant trees, we need to get out and find out some places where a tree is needed. You can of course join the Woodland Trust or the National Trust and help to plant a forest, but we are looking for sites for individual trees, and here we can sing the praises of the Parish Councils. They are fully aware of current trends such as the need for trees, and may even have a Tree Warden. But a warning: they have no control over verges, that comes under Highways, and highways are more interested in cutting down trees that block the highway than planting more 'to cause more accidents.’ Your convenor has had much encouragement from his Parish Council, which suggested sites, and from this we have managed six plantings of rescued Oaks, five of which are in full leaf and emerging from their knee-height protectors now. Let's start wth Beccles Town Council .......It's more difficult to find the site than save the seedling tree.
Volunteers please !
U3A Tree Planting Group 3rd Meeting 5th March 2020.
A small gathering. A new member with allotment volunteers for local farmer with strong community connections and suggests possible opening for consideration of planting trees around the farm. Has a collection of small trees available.
Another new member has notified a possible site in Beccles near Men’s Shed, either 4 big trees or 10 hedgerow trees. Will need volunteers, choose species and ensure permissions available.
A keen Parish Council offered possible sites on parish land – three oaks planted. Total of 18 oaks planted out in the past 6 months.
There has been progress on several fronts by various members. We need to hear what they have done.
Join this project if you care about saving trees and planting them out. We have so far collected around 30 very young trees, from two-leaf to two foot. We need native trees found wild, such as Oak, Ash, Hornbeam, Birch, Hawthorn, Holly etc.
We intend to plant them where they are needed, in town, country or road verge.
If you are interested in joining this group, please email Philip or Gillian via the bird or call us on 01986 895113