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Posts Tagged ‘stake’

The weather remains warm but dull grey. It seems an age since we last saw a glimmer of sunshine. The garden birds sing, though not of love but of petty jealousies.

The usually solitary crow tends to join up with others in the winter months. Twenty of them are flying overhead, almost hovering hawk-like in the gusty wind whilst all the time haggling at each other.

Great vigilance is needed when it comes to trees on an estate of this size. A fine specimen of a sweet chestnut grows against the edge of a field where two horses are left to graze from time to time. Unknown to me they have been reaching over and nibbling the bark causing a fair amount of damage. A couple of posts and a strand or two of wire is enough to keep them back. The tree will recover but this is not a good testimony to my husbandry.

Ivy is constantly trying to grow up into the heights of the trees. Turn your head for just a moment and the tenacious climber has made its way up. Naturalists would all want to swing me from the nearest branch for saying this but I have an instinctive hatred of ivy growing in trees.

I understand that ivy is paradise when it comes to overwintering insects and the berries make a fine food. But I feel that the branches of the tree suffer enough in the winter storms without having to cope with the extra weight of an ivy clambering all over it. Furthermore I love the sight of naked bark rather than being clothed with the rather dull ivy green

Theories abound regarding the staking of young trees. These days I prefer the method of hammering in a stake at an angle of forty-five degrees and using a flexible tie to secure the tree.

tree stake

The idea holds that if you do not stake a tree then it will blow over in the gusty breeze. But on the other hand, if you stake it too rigidly the top will blow in the wind and transmit vibrations down to the roots and cause damage there. Lightly securing the tree is the answer.

The witch hazel chooses to flower at this time of year in defiance of this dull wintry weather. Why it chooses to flower now is a mystery to me. No doubt there is a perfectly rational botanical reason that sadly eludes me. I guess there must be an insect out there that enjoys feeding at this time of year.

On this sad day I would rather be curled up by the fire with a good book and a mug of Irish cocoa. I have no choice though but to venture out into the drizzle to earn a living.

God sent the ravens to feed Elijah when he most needed it and perhaps the witch hazel has been sent to lighten up my hour and my mood and remind me that good days are just around the corner.

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