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Trees

Trees are beneficial to the environment for a variety of reasons:

  1. Livestock shade

  2. Shelter

  3. Feed

  4. Medication

  5. Wildlife habitat

  6. Wildlife food

  7. Soil organic matter (roots/dead leaves/fallen fruit/fallen timber)

  8. Contribution to soil plant diversity benefits

  9. Rain water infiltration

  10. Soil water storage

  11. Erosion prevention

  12. Drought resiliance

  13. Human food (orchard fruits)

  14. Coppiced wood products

  15. Wood chip.

There's a lot to be said for trees!

It's important to nurture the trees we have, plant new and identify and protect naturally regenerating trees on the farm.

It's vital to have the right tree, in the right place. The farm is surrounded by ancient oak and planting more is an obvious choice, but nature also highlights other species like silver birch, small leaved lime, crab apple and others.

Customers and the National Park have contributed to planting projects here and work will continue to develop 'wood pasture'.

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Tree Maintenance

It's not a good plan to push trees into the ground and walk away for good.

There'll always be a failure rate in a planting scheme, but keeping that as low as possible is obviously preferable. To begin with a little soil preparation goes a long way e.g. removing stones that would prevent early root development but on an ongoing basis it's a good idea to provide wood chip to balance the soil to be more fungal than bacterial, a situation a tree will prefer.

Here tree protection is vital, so removing grasses from inside a plastic tube that could smother a young tree is an essential task. Wood chip also helps to control these 'weeds'.

Unlike natural growth I also do some trimming of dead wood, aiming to give each tree the best chance. In summer I also provide water to any tree that needs a drink.

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