the Eternal Forest Trust ltd

Eternal Forest Trust ltd
Newsletter 19 March 2007
Well, we hope those of you on line liked our new format, including pictures, which
started with last month’s Newsletter. This month we report on the results of our efforts
throughout the busy season. First a BIG thank you to all who responded to our “help” call at
the end of last month. Over 800 young trees have been planted to create a thick hedge inside
our new field fence, with hollies to form a wind break along the northern edge, and a mixture
of hawthorn, blackthorn, cherry, elder, crabapple, willow and hazel on our northern and
eastern boundaries. All will be mulched to keep the grass away.
The new car park has been cleared and we have extracted many tons of topsoil that
would otherwise be wasted. We have had to create an area where the accumulating tree roots
can be stacked to dry out; eventually they will burn. Not in the wood, of course; although the
ash will come back. We’ll get the smart front fence and gates when the final ground level has
been established.
Plant of the month: The bramble. Let’s deal with the downside first. It’s very good
at spreading. Any part of the plant can put down roots where it touches the ground, to form
strong new plants that live independently of their parents. Its fruit, the blackberry, is eaten by
many animals – we even had a dog who would carefully pick and munch from low-hanging
brambles – but birds are the main spreaders of the seed. Dropped with a dollop of fertiliser,
the plants shoot up in all the paths and clearings. We spend many hours pulling them up,
wearing welding gloves to protect against the thorns. Now the up side. Where brambles are
allowed to grow, they shelter tree seedlings which would otherwise be grassed out or eaten by
sheep or rabbits. Eventually the trees shade out their foster parent plants, but by then the
brambles will have moved on. So they can do a lot of good – and blackberries are a delicious
and nutritious treat, not to be missed!
Book of the month: Tall Trees and Small Woods: How to Grow and Tend Them, by
Dr. William Mutch, published by Mainstrteam Publishing, Edinburgh. 312pps with many full
colour illustrations and hardly a page without some visual work, whether showing wind
speeds, forestry techniques or parts of tree structure. Very good value for £20. Packed with
well-written information, this book also has many nuggets of wisdom which instantly bring
pictures to your mind. For instance, from Chapter 2, How Trees Grow: The Basis of
Woodland Ecology: “ By their very nature, trees stand tall and in the wind. There is no hedge
for them to shelter behind, at least beyond their seedling stage. Woods must be designed and
managed with careful regard to the local soil and climate. These may never be disregarded.”
18 chapters cover everything from planting, tree recognition and hedges, to the law. This is a
book which every active tree lover should have near to hand.
And after an active winter comes the spring clear-up. Stout gloves (provided) and
appropriate tools will be necessary to remove the remains of the old fence before Nature
engulfs them. The young poles which the wind has thinned out need cutting and clearing.
There’s a great pile of brush to feed to the chomper, to make mulch for the hedge. Or, if you
prefer, there’s shovelling and raking. Or then again, you might just like to wander around and
enjoy the coming season. All will be rewarded with the customary cake and coffee in the
p.m. on Sunday 25th March. It will be very nice to see you.
Colin and Bella