Archive for tag: Trees

Storm damage

Today is relatively peaceful compared to yesterday when we experienced just about every weather pattern imaginable: blue skies and sunny, gale force winds, rain, sleet, hail and snow.  We were safe and fine in the house with the electricity flickering but it was our large ancient trees that suffered, in particular the maples.  Of all the branches and boughs scattered across the fields, the majority came from the maple trees.  One had a large bough fall that was bigger than most trees!


Wild Cherry blossom

Finally our wild cherry trees have started to blossom! The season has got off to a rather odd start with the recent climate but our trees at home in the Borders are now catching up.


Can I grow Truffles?




Our truffle trees are popular and successful gifts for all different types. The one question we are often asked though is can I grow truffles on my land?  Well, the best land for truffle growing should be free from established trees and have a high pH value (7.3-8.3).   Soil with quite a low pH level can be utilised as long as adequate lime is applied. Truffles have been grown on fields with a starting pH as low as 4.9 (before lime was spread). The pH can be estimated using simple kits available from most garden centers.

View our range of Truffle Gifts here

Lime for Hazel Truffle Trees

Need to know how much lime to add for balancing out the soil for the truffle trees? Here's a query we got on the email:

"Purchased one of your hazelnut truffle trees and plan to plant it in a large pot - I have purchased 3 35lt bags of soil fron the garden centre and would like to know how much hydrated lime to add to bring the soil up from ph 7 to the required 7.6-9."

I have just spoken to the team that supply our Truffle trees and they say you won't need much, just a couple of good handfuls as you can always top it up.

The Tree Update | Wildlife minister chops down his trees | Parisian Christmas trees

Wildlife minister chops down his trees (source: The Sunday Times)

"A 217-ACRE area of woodland belonging to Richard Benyon, the environment and wildlife minister, is to be destroyed in order to extract 2m tons of sand and gravel to build new homes and roads.
The woodland, on Benyon’s 20,000-acre Englefield estate on the west Berkshire-Hampshire borders, had been designated as a site of importance for nature conservation because of its wide range of habitats, including pockets of ancient forest, heaths and dry acid grassland as well as commercial conifer plantations."

Mountain of Macaroons: Is this the world's yummiest Christmas tree? (source: MyDaily)

"A tea room in Paris has gone all out this year and put up a mouth-watering shrub made of macaroons! The edible tower, crafted by the infamous Laduree sweet makers, looks a festive delight, we just wish they'de made it in green..."

The Tree Update: Christmas Trees at The White House

White House splurges on holiday decorations by adding nearly 50 per cent more Christmas trees than last year (source: Daily Mail)

"The White House may have gone a little extreme with their holiday decorations this year, decking their halls with a staggering 54 live Christmas trees - enough to put one in nearly every other room in the entire building.
This year's total is nearly 50 per cent more than last year's 37, which included seven artificial ones. In truth, the number of trees varies from year-to-year. In 1997 there were 36 trees, while in 2008, there were a scant 27."

Let's protect Britain's trees, woods & forests from damaging pests and disease

The Forestry Commission have published guidance on a range of simple 'biosecurity' measures to help protect trees, forests and woodland in Britain from damaging pests and disease. A poster has been created to help the public understand what they can do to help when visiting woodland in the UK.

The guidance includes:

- clean your boots and shoes
- wash down the tyres of bikes and vehicles after off-roading
- keep to obvious paths
- keep an eye out for information notices
- avoid taking plants and cuttings from the countryside
- resist planting out your garden plants in the countryside
- avoid dumping garden waste in the countryside
- familiarise yourself with common pests and diseases

Dr John Morgan, Head of the Commission's Plant Health Service, said, "The UK's trees, woods and forests face unprecedented levels of threat from non-native pests and diseases, many of which have entered the country on internationally traded products.
"These pests and diseases are usually kept in check by indigenous predators and environmental conditions in their natural ecological niches in other parts of the world. However, partly because we are an island nation, these natural checks and controls are often not present in the UK, allowing the pests and diseases to be much more destructive when they arrive here.
"The warming climate is also increasing the risk that some of these organisms may find it easier to become permanently established here.
"Our first line of defence is to try to prevent them from entering the UK in the first place, but we need to be prepared for the fact that some will get in. When that happens we must do everything we can to eradicate them or, if that proves impracticable, to contain and control them as best we can.
"This guidance should prove an invaluable aid to many people who have to visit woods and forests in the course of their duties or recreation, by giving them useful advice on steps they can take to avoid accidentally spreading these damaging organisms on their clothes, footwear, vehicles and by other means."

Countryside Biosecurity Poster 2012

You can find a copy of the poster, available for download, here: Forestry Commission guidance poster