Folk normally think of woodland work as being the preserve of winter or maybe early spring. Usually that is the case, be it felling, coppicing, pollarding or pruning. However the wildwood, whilst not as quick off the mark as the wolf asleep on the rug, is only ever a growing season away. Abandoned brownfield sites in eighteen months are covered in buddleia, a nurse to hawthorn & hazel, and walk such sites, you will see sycamore, ash & oak springing up.
All rather prosaic, but Trevina grounds are a mix of a small working wood, traditional orchard (dwarfing rootstock notwithstanding) meadows and gardens. We use the woodland edge, the area of maximum bio diversity, to merge ornamental & exotic shrubs into a naturalistic setting with native (and some non native) trees. This woodland edge is what makes parklands & glades so beautiful, with jumble of herbage, to flowering & berried shrubs and creepers dangling from over hanging trees. In the natural world temperate parklands and woodland glades evolve over centuries or millennia, in the setting of a 1990 10 acre green desert the timescale has been artificially contracted to two decades or so. Trees threaten to shade out slow growing shrubs, some things are clearly in the wrong place, and the deer browse every green tip between 12” & 36”. Having taken out most of 2010/11 working on Housekeepers Cottage, the wildwood started to have its way. The incipient forest crept imperceptibly beyond the shrubs, threatening to overwhelm them.
With deciduous trees, the summer loading of leaves and shadow allows for precise pruning/lopping. Essential though to wax the wounds, as we lost a beautiful Japanese Maple var ‘Atropurpureum’ to fungal infection following summer pruning.
The Rhododendrons in front of a Pine Plantation were becoming increasingly shaded out. Pines self seal with resin following summer lopping. Timed in early August allows both trees and shrubs to recover by the onset of winter and for the Rhodies especially, set flower buds for a good show next year.