Our final planting for the season. Two stragglers!
Our last two trees of the season were replacements for previous trees that had been planted, but not survived for various reasons. Our tree transporter trailer was loaded for the last time and with both trees in leaf, the London Plane was beyond the back of the trailer as this was a tall tree already at around 16ft. These had been supplied to us by Braintree District Council and did not come from Barchams, our usual supplier.
First off the trailer was the London Plane at Greenfields. This was to replace an Oak that had been planted as part of the big planting project the group was involved with some years ago but had died last year. Worryingly, several other trees planted at the same time nearby are struggling considerably or have died. First to remove the old tree, which despite having been in the ground some years, still seemed to have poor root structure, possibly caused by being too root bound in its container before planting and the roots failing to grow into the surrounding ground. Also the clay soil it was planted into appeared completely dry and very hard. We struggled to dig the hole deep enough for the new tree, even the crowbar making little impression! However, planted it was and with our usual watering tube inserted so that we can get water down under the plant to encourage new root growth to go down.
The second tree was then taken down to the planting area across the stream from Asda. This was to replace a Horse Chestnut, like for like, with one that was had planted a couple of years earlier, but that had been destroyed by a digger when the stream was being cleared. This was easier planting, so while it was being planted we swapped trailers for the water bowser which we part filled and went back to water the London Plane we had planted at Greenfields. Hopefully this will give it a fighting chance for the coming weeks.