I’ve not had too much to write about the Coppice and Orchard recently, as it’s just quietly growing, with little need for any intervention. For the last few days I’ve been spending a bit more time there, doing my annual ‘defence against wasps’ duties, and for the first time, the 2009/2010 trees are getting above my head.
If you’re reading about this for the first time, it might be worth checking out the Pictures, Design, and Plans page, to see the overall pattern of the tree planting.
The first picture is taken from the bottom of the Western block of coppice trees, and you can clearly see that the trees are at head height.
The actual picture is looking between the first and second blocks, at the gap between the two. To get a sense of scale, the box in the centre of the shot is a beehive, and the square tree guards are four feet tall. The trees partially obscuring the shot are part of the shelterbelt at the bottom of the schematic.
This picture looks towards the apiary from the South West corner of the Coppice.
The picture above was taken looking up between the two right (Eastern) blocks. The tree growth in this part of the coppice is not as rampant as the Western side, which benefits from it’s proximity to an old hedge, providing shelter, organic matter, and mycorrhizal fungi. The grass is also more dense on this side, which is inhibiting the growth of these trees a little.
The orchard trees are laden with fruit, and I ate my first plum of the season today. Many of the apple trees are vintage cider apples, and I’m hoping that we are going to have a cider circle in our village this year.
Jobs to do in the coppice area are putting in the final trees, mainly false acacia, and box elder, and selective scything of the grass in the open areas, to act as mulch, until the trees start to shade out the grass on their own.
It will be a few years before we are able to harvest reasonable quantities of wood, but some of the earlier plantings, now four years old, are starting to get to a decent size.
All of the best