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Gardening Tips

  • Top Tips for Tree Planting

    The tree planting season is nearly upon us, so it is time to brush up your tree planting technique. By the way, most of this applies to shrubs, hedging, roses and fruit trees as well. 1. When your plants arrive, trim roots and stems that are damaged. Clean cuts lessen...
  • Chestnuts Come Early... Unfortunately

    You may be aware that our conker trees (Aesculus hippocastanum and its varieties) are under threat. The horse chestnut leaf miner grub eats the tissue between the outer layers of the leaves, reducing their ability to breathe and ultimately causing them to fall off. At the same time Horse Chestnut...
  • How Black Walnut Trees kill the competition

    "Could my walnut trees have killed other plants nearby?" This is a question we often get from people who bought trees and shrubs from us that died when planted near Juglans nigra.  When you sell as many plants as we do, this happens sometimes (and we replace them under guarantee so...
  • How to prune Cordon Fruit Trees

    This is just about pruning cordons - there is a much longer piece on growing cordon fruit trees if you would like to know more. Cordons should be pruned every year around mid August (i.e. about now). Your cordon is ready for pruning when the new side shoots from the...
  • What to do with plants that produce suckers....

    Some hedging plants and native trees produce suckers (new plants that grow up from the parent plant's root system). Sometimes this is good - because you want a bushier plant. Rugosa roses make a bushier hedge, for example, because they sucker. Sometimes this is bad - because the sucker is the...
  • Apple Tree Pollination Groups

    If you are thinking about buying apple trees this year then you will want to make sure they are compatible in terms of pollination. This is a list of Apple Flowering Groups for the UK.  You can use it as a reference for the purposes of ensuring you have the...
  • Saving a Tree that is Falling Over

    It crossed my mind this morning that we are in August. September is the other month of the equinox (exactly half a year away from Shakespeare's "Beware the Ides of March"). March and September are the months where the Earth tilts just more than halfway to or from the Sun...
  • Pollinating Apple Trees

    Most apple trees are, to some extent, self-infertile and so heavier crops occur when they are pollinated by other, compatible varieties. Generally, different varieties of apple trees that flower at about the same time will cross-pollinate one another although there are some that both need a pollinator and refuse to repay the...
  • Ways to save water - Part 2 (with thanks to Ian Dury)

    Continuing the theme.... 1. Don't cut your grass so short. If you let your lawn stay a bit longer - raise your lawnmower's cutting height - your grass will be less thirsty. The same applies to hedging - the more you cut the more it grows and the more water...
  • Dead and Dying Yew Hedges and Trees

    English Yew has a reputation for being indestructible, and given fair treatment, there are yew trees planted today that will still be alive when mankind (if we survive) will have escaped the solar system. At the same time, and like any living organism, English yew can die prematurely, but because...

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