With the planting of a further 17 specimen trees yesterday it rounded off nicely a year in which Susie and I started to really make more of the spectacular trees we have at Gliffaes. Starting three or four centuries ago past inhabitants of Gliffaes have taken a long term view and planted trees carefully and with much consideration. The last in this long line of tree planters was Susie’s father, Nick Brabner, who died in July 2011. Thus it was up to us to pick up the ‘branch’ and run with it.
So, with the aid of the very knowledgeable arbourculturist, Steve Clark, this is what we have achieved in the last 12 months.
• Thinned out a third of a young native plantation along our northern boundary. Then cut and split the thinnings for fire wood – about 8 tonnes.
• Mapped, surveyed, and identified all the trees and shrubs in the grounds, over 100 alone.
• Made safe and cut back a number of very large trees that could have been dangerous had action not been taken.
• Labeled most of the key trees and shrubs.
• Put together and led two very successful guided tree walks in October.
• Finally, yesterday we planted more trees to expand the collection and so that some may, in time, succeed some of the giant specimens.
This is some of what we planted:
Cedar of Lebanon – Cedrus libani ssp. libani
Himalayan Birch – Betula utilis
Sugar Maple – Acer saccarum
Full Moon Maple – Acer japonicum
Ermans Birch – Betuali ermani
Crab Apples – Malus hupehensis
Wild Service Trees – Sorbus torminalis
Caucasian Elm – Zelkova carpinifolia
Red Maple – Acer rubra
Sweet Buckeye – Aesculus flava
Chinese Horse Chestnut – Aesculus Chinensis
Katsura Tree – Cercidiphyllum japonicum
Starting in January when the hotel is closed for a month we have a lot more thinning out to do to maintain the views of the river that everyone enjoys and to remove a lot of damaged and unwanted trees.
Clear around an ancient pollarded oak so that we might show it off to our guests.
Design and print a self guided walking map and or leaflet of the principal trees around the grounds.
Arrange a number of guided tree walks combined with lunch through out the year. Please let me know if you interested as we will be publishing the dates very soon.
Kill more squirrels!