Wednesday 3 September 2014

Preparing for the winter

We may be an experiencing an 'indian summer' up in Scotland but at Carrifran Wildwood we have been out busily preparing for this coming planting season.

Every summer we do a number of tree surveys. This helps to identify how trees are growing as well as any areas where we could do more planting. We then use this information to plan how many trees we will be needing for this coming winter.

However before we head out to plant we need to do a bit of preparation. In many cases the areas to be planted are already covered in dense ground vegetation, mostly coarse grasses. As these are so vigorous with extensive root growth underground, they provide a lot of competition for the trees. 

There are are 2 main ways we deal with this. Firstly we can 'screef' when planting. This means clearing back a small area of the grass with a spade before planting. A second way is the use of herbicides. Where possible we keep this to a minimum but in some cases it is the only way in which we can really give the trees an early chance to 'get away.'

Yesterday the volunteers marked a number of canes with spray paint and started to put these out in one of the compartments for planting. 

We then followed behind with knapsack sprayers and treated a small area around the cane.

This will take effect quite quickly and hopefully we should be able to locate them when we come back to the area in winter.

We still have a few more compartments to do so keeping this nice weather would certainly help!

Site Officer

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