It’s hard to believe the year is flying by so quickly and after a super busy season on the nursery even after the start of the year that we’ve had, the year has flown by. Now we are into October and that to us means Tree Month. We have 45 acres of field grown trees and hedging along with a two acre mature tree display park, where our Specimen and Mature trees are displayed, mainly in airpots (which I will be doing a feature on in the coming weeks)
Rob our Field Production Manager has been hard at work, grading and monitoring our trees that are ready to lift this year for rootballed and bare-root tree sales for the end of this month.
The semi-mature trees that we have planted in out own fields, are allowed to grow in open ground and so the have are healthy and with great root structures and as more mature trees they have been allowed to grow over a good number of years with the right amount of care, pruning and special care to their root structure. If the roots are allowed to grow too extensively it will not only make the tree too hard to move it will also mean the root structure is not as strong although this and some careful pruning does mean the head is not as big as if it was left to it’s own devices this is to the benefit of the tree long term.
All of this does make it an awful lot easier to move the trees to their new homes too. We are the premier supplier in Ireland of Rootballed and Mature trees to the General Public and so our range is extensive and we are very proud of our tree production and so I wanted to talk to Rob to get this real for the process and also to get his view on his favourite trees for different spaces. Being around the trees full time, all day if he doesn’t know a thing or two about trees then nobody does.
Rob Fordyce is South African and has spent all his adult life working on nurseries, from his horticulture and business degree in SA, (something we don’t have here in Ireland and would be a real winner) to running his own nursery, he has 26 years of hands on experience. This is what he had to say “Once a tree reaches a certain size it requires the stability of a Rootball to ensure it has the best possible start, that is usually 14-16cm in deciduous trees and dependent on size but is usually the case for most Evergreen Trees. These trees are specially selected and then lifted from the field and these trees have their root system carefully enclosed and held in place with hessian, which ensures the soil remains in contact with the roots throughout lifting, transportation and planting operations. Our root-ball trees have been prepared by being ‘undercut’ i.e. root pruned or transplanted several times (every 3 years for Deciduous and 4 years for Evergreen) to encourage the development of a fibrous root system. “
“The hessian and wire are biodegradable and therefore there is no packaging waste to dispose of. The cost of a rootballed tree can be less than a containerised tree and they’re easy to handle when planting. They also have a good establishment rate as they’re planted in the dormant winter months”
“Do not remove the hessian or wire. The hessian will naturally rot down allowing the root system to develop. The wire will break down soon after planting, leaving the hessian in place helps to maintain the completeness of the root system”.
I asked Rob about his favourite trees “I adore all trees but I do have some favourites, I really love large leaved trees like the Morus or Mulberry trees, the leaves are huge and a vibrant lime colouring. I also love the Catalpa tree group, the Indian Bean tree has a similar look and the rounded shape to the head makes it great for the modern looking garden. My absolute favourite tree though is the London Plane tree also called Platanus acerfolia – it to me is the perfect tree a tall statuesque tree with a dapped silver grey trunk that brings a beautiful addition to the tree, the crown is rounded and the leaf is large. The tree is scented and the fruit is like little baubles in the early part of the year. The tree is a large one and the best thing about London Planes is its the ideal tree for urban locations, It is tolerant of pollution, soil compaction, drought and heavy pruning. Thanks Rob for all the advice and information.
Rob and his team out in the field are gearing up for the season and has just put together the stock list and prices and now its down to Emily and I to add them to the stock online and have them labelled up ready for sales as soon as they’re lifted.