Friday, 31 May 2013

Ashridge pines

I took a drive up to Ashridge Estate to go and have a look at some nice Scots pines that grow along the roads there and go for a walk in the woods. As I walked a little back to get them nicely into frame I heard a noise behind and turned to look. Much to my surprise there was a large herd of deer in the woods behind me. They were a little shy and didn’t let me up too close - but I got a few nice pictures and got to enjoy their company for a few minutes.

This herd of fallow deer was established by the monastery in the 13th century. A few centuries later Henry VIII used to hunt this herd - in between wives I suppose.

Lovely colours in the early spring woodlands - and the fallow deer have tones on their pelts that are perfectly matched to the surrounding foliage.

These woods are lovely to walk in on a week day when it's not too busy. Its very popular on weekends - much more so when the weather is good. It's nice to see so many people getting out into nature.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

New scots pine

This is my new Scots pine - it's a field grown tree from Herons. I had a bit of a walk around with Peter Chan and then went to ferret about amongst the field grown trees out back. It had a nice taper and a reasonable number of branches to work with. All I have done so far is stand it out on the benches with the other pines and water it generously. Later I will remove all the dead branches and spray it with SB plant invigorator to kill any bugs that came along.

It's still in the field soil so I need to decide whether to bare root it now or do it next year. I feel its a bit late in the year for a repot - although I may change my mind on that as the soil is not draining very well and seems have have dry zones. I’ve poked some holes in the soil to get the water in as a temporary measure.

The soil and feeding regime will be done the same as my other Scots pines. I'm really happy with them at the moment as I'm getting masses of buds all over them which is going to give nice dense foliage pads. I have the luxury of being able to pick a shoot in any direction I want - and this is after removing a huge number of them over the winter.

Once I have achieved this sort of density of growth I will get down to finding a shape in the tree. But first I need to achieve this high growth density and get some growth closer to the trunk. I would guess 3 years based on experience until I reach the foliage mass I am after.