Mind that Hedge (2)

treewardensIf the observations in the first of these notes (June 2018), struck some readers as skimpy or whimsical, here are a few more practical tips:

[1]        If the dried stalks of ALEXANDERS still carry their seed, pull them up now and burn them, seeds and all. It’s the one time of year when it’s easy to get these pestilential plants out of the ground.

[2]        Everyone has a view about IVY. A simple guide to dealing with ivy is “vertical – good” (especially for nesting birds and wildlife); “horizontal – bad” (whether covering the ground or the tops of trees).

[3]        No question about the next piece of advice. As soon as a new hedge plant is established, remove any spiral PLASTIC SHIELDING . Otherwise, you’ll have a hedge that’s all top and no bottom.

Have people in Geldeston (or elsewhere) spotted the grand old pollarded oaks mentioned in the previous note?

Pollards – or not?

If you go towards Geldeston church up Heath Road, just before it is crossed by Sandy Lane (the footpath and bridleway running east-west), there are two oaks on the left, on either side of the entrance into the top field. One is a “maiden”, but the other is an unmistakable pollard and its wood has been harvested for over a century.

At first glance, the two trees may look similar. Their branches spread out in a cup low down the trunk, but the young oak displays a common natural form. The squat, short trunk of its older companion, shows that limbs have been repeatedly removed for building and other purposes down the years.

Other local examples. In the small bit of glebe-land below the churchyard, there are 6-7 oaks of varying age. One looks different to the rest. Almost certainly it, too, is a pollard. Lastly, on the road towards Gillingham, there are two pollarded oaks on the left, as you pass the last house on that side of the road.

John and Tanya Crowfoot

Geldeston Parish Tree Wardens

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