If you have been to Rosemoor lately you may have noticed the disappearance of a few trees and neat stacks of brash and logs in their place.
At The beginning of last autumn we started a major thinning out (removal) of the remaining nurse planting (fast growing trees put in to give the main planting shelter from the elements allowing it to establish more successfully), so that the well-established trees that form the main planting of the arboretum have room to grow.
It is a long drawn out process to establish an arboretum; the nurse crop was put in in the mid to late nineties and the main planting not started until 2004; it has been going on since then and is all but completed. The nurse crop consisted off a mix of Pinus nigra AGM (Austrian pine), Pinus sylvestris AGM (Scots pine) Quercus coccinea (scarlet oak), Quercus cerris (turkey oak), Prunus sp (cherry), Salix sp (Willow) and Populus sp (poplar).
The secret of success with thinning is to take out enough so the main planting can grow unhindered but not to take out too much; letting in damaging winds and cold which will spoil the main planting. So if you still see the odd tree around bi-arb that you think doesn’t fit in with the geographic planting there’s a good chance that it could be nurse crop awaiting its final thinning.
Of course the longer you leave trees to grow, generally the bigger they get! And the bigger they get, the harder they are to take down without damaging the ones you want to keep. Fortunately Jonathan Hutchinson and I are trained to climb and dismantle trees using chainsaws.
We have a whole arsenal of other equipment at our disposal including pole saws, hand saws, lowering equipment, hand winch and we will soon be able to add a chipper to the list. Not to mention all the help we have had at various times from Simon, Penny, Beth, Susie, and our new boss David, who makes up the Lady Anne’s thinning Team.
I hope this explains the tree disappearances and puts your mind at rest that there will be a Bicentenary arboretum at Rosemoor for many many years to come.