Counting and Grading our Field Trees

Today has been all about our field stock. Its a job that we had in the calendar for the beginning of January however the month just ran away with us so it had to be done today. We, Ian and I headed down to our fields to check what stock was still in the field and needed to be lifted before then end of this month, what was going for potting for sales later int he year and what was still available rootballed and in some cases bare-root.

We have had a little set back this week as the bearing on our lifting went and so the machine has gone for fixing which delays our rootballing by about a week, its not ideal. In the meantime though this gives us the opportunity to take stock and consider what stock stays in for another year and what is for sales this year. It is always really tempting to sell the stock that is in high demand but that would mean we had much less for the following year.

We added stock that we hadn’t counted previously, it got missed off the count we carried out in September, last year and lots that we updated stock numbers and added more sizes. We added some fabulous Cornus flavierama multi stems the stock and additional conifers that are a beautiful shape.

There was also some beautiful Hazel multi stems that were covered in catkins, such a stunning looking specimen. In addition to these beauties there was lots more run of the mill hedging and trees, lots of birch, willow, limes and maples that we are lifting at 3metres, 4 metres and 5metres tall. The hedging plants, laurels, Portuguese laurels, yew, bay, privet amongst others is ready in a huge range of sizes more than enough for this year and still plenty coming on for future years.

In the next month we will be planting our crops out, February and March are such busy times as the window of opportunity to carry out lots of these jobs is narrow and the planting ensures that our future years crops are planted early enough so that they take, but not too early that the ground is harder to work with. From then on its about staking, keeping the area clean from weeds and feeding the crops at the correct intervals. We use organic feeds, where possible, usually seaweed based and like always we ensure that headlands are left wide enough for pollinators, birds and insects as we grow a lot of flowering trees and fruit trees, it wouldn’t make any sense not to. As we always leave some of the fruit around the edges of the field for our own use, Ian’s father collects enough apples, pears and plums every year not only for us but enough for any of the team on the nursery too that wants them. Last Autumn, Holly one our sales team, made enough apple pies for everyone to have with tea for break, so organic is a must for us.

So we finished the count and now its time to tag the trees we are lifting for potting, the ones we are lifting for rootballed or bare-root sales and ensuring that we have the right amount of stock left in the field and that they are protected before we start ploughing the fields and feeding the soil before the planting. Better get back to it, until next week




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