Oak avenues, hedging and frozen toes.

I’d been lulled into a false sense of security by the incredibly mild winter we’ve had so far here in East Anglia but the last few days have been surprisingly nippy and the weather people are threatening snow. I’ll be pleased if we have snow as I love snow and it makes being freezing cold more worthwhile. It will interfere with the hedge planting though.

If you’ve never seen bare-root hedging going in it can seem rather brutal. You have a tiny tree, about 40 cm tall with a spindly root on the bottom. A slit is made in the soil, the plant is rudely shoved into the slit, which is then closed by the application of a muddy wellyboot. A cane and spiral guard are supplied for protection of the wee thing and you move onto the next one. I find the fact that it works borderline miraculous.

There is generally a flurry of hedge planting on the estate at this time of year and I get dragged from my garden into the wider estate to help. This year there’s even more than normal – 1,750 plants, all native hedging species. That’ll keep us busy for a little while.

This week I’ve also planted 50 oak trees to form a double oak avenue.

Newly planted oak trees

It doesn’t look like much now but in 40 years it’ll be amazing I promise!



13 responses to “Oak avenues, hedging and frozen toes.

  1. I’ve planted bare rooted hawthorn in the winter. What a work and freezing cold. I’d love to know what it looks like now.
    Planting 50 oak trees is a wonderful venture. I think you’re going have snow in East Anglia and a lot of it. Time to head for the potting shed!

  2. Wow, planting 50 oaks what am amazing thing. My husband has grown two oaks from acorns. We’ve got them in pots and are now trying to find a proper home for them. Unfortunately our back garden is a little too small. It has been bitterly cold here in Wales. Only some disappointing wet snow on Monday but hard frosts since. I like snow, too but I had got all geared up for spring and am now feeling at a bit of a loss, raring to go but sheltering indoors. Have a good weekend.

  3. It will be amazing. I know exactly what you describe because that is how the nurserymen at the farm plant. They are like you, planting many, many a day.

  4. Planting trees (especially native ones) always makes feel good, right somehow, doesn’t it? Looking forward to seeing that beautiful oak allèe pictures on your blog… in 40 years… 🙂

  5. It’s amazing how quick they grow once they take off. We planted a Hornbeam hedge from bareroot 3 years ago and it has made amazing growth.

    • It’s always nice to look at it and think ‘I planted that’. A couple of years ago we planted a field up to form a new wood and some of the trees are really going for it now – every time I walk past it makes me happy!

  6. Ah, to be able to take a peek into the future and see how our current work has affected the landscape! From that description, I am also amazed the little hedglings survive!

  7. patientgardener

    I planted a small beech hedge a couple of years ago that way and you are right it is quite brutal. I think we will have to take you word that it will look wonderful in 40 years time

  8. Visionary work – the best kind! Hope you got your snow. Ours is gone again; very odd indeed. Snowdrops are up two months early!

  9. Heeling in with frozen feet and and a good day’s work for future years. Its not winter til the chilblains sing 😉

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