Whatever your age, planting trees is an experience never forgotten and, here at Gliffaes, we have been busy playing our part in the Tree Council’s National Tree Week.
Up to one million trees are planted each year in the UK according to the Tree Council. The Tree Council’s National Tree Week (23rd November – 1st December) is a celebration of trees and aims to encourage the planting of more trees to increase the diversity of our tree stock. This is an important feature of tree survival in the face of pests and diseases and will make our landscape and wildlife more resilient.
Enlisting the help of our arboriculturalist, Steve Clark, and our resident gardener, Julian Jones, and plant specialist, Emma Gardiner, we planted a native tree hedge along the lower perimeter of Gliffaes’ gardens. This comprised of the commonly known Hawthorn (40%), Hazel (20%), Wild Hedging Rose (10%), Viburnum, Field Maple, Wild Pear (5%) and Crab Apple (5%).
Also under a cleared canopy of Oaks and Scots Pines on the south facing bank below the the hotel, we planted an understory with a range of species to increase biodiversity. This included Hazel (cover for the smaller mammals), Hawthorn (for early blossom), Holly, Privet (for all year round cover), the Wayfaring Tree (another native Viburnum giving Autumnal colour) and Guelder Rose.
We planted some 4 year old native standards - 2 Horse Chestnuts (because I want my grandchildren to be able to play conkers), 2 Hornbeams and a variety of Quinces, Plums, Medlars and Crab Apples to forage and use in Gliffaes’ kitchen.
Ongoing management of the estate includes replacing the casualties, and this included planting another Nikko Maple (ornamental Japanese species) and the Redbud ‘Forest Pansy’ (grown for its deep purple foliage).
During the January , we will continue clearing the woodland bank below the hotel of scrub and unwanted trees (and top up our supply of logs for the hotel). This is also a time of year to work on interesting projects, and we are in the process of producing a self-guided walk leaflet taking in the best of our trees.