This year’s planting season ended on 20 March and we had hoped, given the exceptionally wet winter, that we would not need to start watering the trees we had planted last year and this until some time in May, perhaps even after the next planned relaxation of the pandemic protocols on 17 May. However, there has been so little rain in the last few weeks that yesterday (23 April) we set off for the first watering round of the year only a month after we finished planting.
We thought we had a heavy schedule last year but we managed that load by filling the bowser only twice (we have permission from the Town Council to fill the bowser from the River Brain, which offers more nutrients than mains water). This year, if we water all the trees and whips planted last year and this (more than 130 trees and 250 whips), it will take four bowser loads. Yesterday we could not water the whips near Holly Walk as we do not yet have vehicle access to the site but three bowser loads was still a new record.
For different reasons we cannot field a full team at present and, because of the pandemic rules, we cannot yet share cars. On this first watering round of the season we also needed to try out new routes round the various planting sites. As a result this first round took more than three hours. As we get more experience, we should be able to speed up a little. It may for example prove unnecessary to water every tree every week. It might even rain! When the Group first started, there were several weeks each summer when we did not need to water the trees because there had been adequate rainfall but certainly for the last three years we have watered all our trees – and sometimes other people’s – almost every week and occasionally more. This seems to be the new weather pattern: wet winters and dry summers.
If you would like to lend a hand, either by joining the watering team or by watering trees near your residence, we should be very glad to hear from you. We shall be out whenever we need to be from now until September/October when the growing season for the trees ends. We shall not all be available every week and we don’t expect you to be. If you want to know where the nearest trees to you are, just ask. We are currently updating the tree data list on this website under About Us: Reports to include this year’s planting.
24 April 2021