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English Woodlands Burrow Nursery Blog
We have recently had some warm, wet and cold days all in quick succession but it is officially spring!
At the end of the winter early flowering cherry trees are especially welcome. Some of the best include Prunus Okame, Prunus cerasifera nigra and Prunus blireana, next comes Prunus Accolade. The autumn flowering cherry 'Prunus subhirtella Autumnalis' flowers in spring too. There is a cherry tree for every garden - and patio!
We are nearly at the end of the season for bare-root plants. When the sun comes out and temperatures increase plants start new root and shoot growth and should be in the ground!
We can supply bare root trees and hedge plants up to the end of March and maybe just into April depending on demand and weather conditions.
So if you have a new hedge to plant or an established hedge to gap up, don't miss out this season, contact us by telephone, on the web or visit the nursery. We generally like some advance notice for packing but we can often supply small quantities at short notice.
When the sun comes out in late winter, it feels like spring is just around the corner. When the leaves are still off deciduous trees and shrubs the value of evergreen plants is obvious.
Every shade from silvery to dark green and purple can be used to great effect in the garden for all year interest. Evergreens include hardy palms too - for an instant tropical feel even if the temperatures deny it!
We have some fabulous new specimen plants in the nursery.
Drawing many comments is the shrub Edgeworthia chrysantha which has silky buds in late winter opening to yellow sweetly scented flowers in spring before the leaves appear. Also called the Chinese Paper bush, it prefers a sunny and sheltered site, well-drained but moist soil and grows to around 1.5m with a 2m spread.
January or February is an ideal time to winter prune Wisteria. The leaves are off the plant and the framework can be clearly seen.
The aim is to create a framework that shows off the flowers in May. On established plants older branches may be taken off if they are too crowded, dead, diseased or crossing. You can then cut back all new growth from the main framework to two buds - these become the flower bearing spurs.
In summer, pruning of long new shoots to five or six leaves encourages bud formation. Young plants are trained to the framework required, tying in shoots as horizontally as possible.
Wisterias can be trained along walls, pergolas and arches, or trained into standards or a bonsai as pictured.
Just a dusting of snow here today but very icy conditions, so take care everyone! We are delivering as normal.
We have listened to our customers most frequent questions about planting bare root plants for hedges and compiled our recommendations for you:
How many will I need?
New mixed hedges are usually planted at a spacing of 5 plants per metre (approximately 4 plants per yard). This allows for 2 rows with plants staggered – see diagram below:
Double row – typically 30cm (12”) between the rows with plants spaced at 40cm (16”) along each row.
Will they need protection?
Bare root hedge plants are vulnerable to rabbit and deer damage, particularly in rural areas. For protection from rabbits, spiral guards should be used with canes to support them. Alternatively, the entire hedge can be fenced off with chicken wire, with the base of the wire firmly buried in the soil. Deer fencing generally needs to be 1.8m high, see our website for planting accessories or ask for advice.
How should I store them after purchase?
You should be able to keep the plants in the bags they were supplied in for up to 10 days as long as they are frost free and the roots are kept moist but not sitting in water. Beyond 10 days “heel-in” the plants by digging a hole or small trench, removing the plants from the bags keeping them in their bundles, spread the roots out and cover the roots with soil, then firm gently.
Care when planting
At the planting site check the roots are not dry – if necessary dip them in a bucket of water (do not soak). To prevent the roots from drying out in the wind, leave the plants in the bag, taking them out only as you plant them, alternatively cover the roots with damp sacking. We highly recommend you dip plants in Mycorrhizae gel at this stage, or granules for small quantities – see our separate guide on How to use Rootgrow. Fertilisers, such as bonemeal, can be mixed in with the soil around the plant roots and, depending on the soil type, a 50/50 soil/compost mixture can be used to avoid large air spaces around the roots.
Care after planting
Weeds compete for water, nutrients and light so plant into soil free from perennial weeds (including grass) and keep them weed free in the first two years. Mulch mat rolls such as woven polypropylene and bark can be used as a weed suppressant. Water during the first spring and summer if logistically possible.
Don’t plant into waterlogged or frozen soil - wait until conditions improve. See our blogs in Cold weather Planting and Storage for more information.
Autumn to spring is the ideal planting time for most trees and shrubs as they are not actively growing and there is likely to be less stress to the plant. However, it is best to avoid planting in waterlogged or frozen ground.
Generally, if there is snow on the ground or the ground is frozen for several days it is advisable not to plant. Do not remove pots or containers from the root ball during freezing conditions as the small roots can be damaged.
Bundles of bare-root plants can be kept in the bags they are supplied in, in a shed or garage for about a week prior to planting, if the delay is longer they are best ‘heeled’ in the soil in their bundles or in a free draining container with compost around the roots. Rootballed plants are best left out of drying, cold winds with straw or hessian over the rootballs. Container grown trees and shrubs are fine in the containers they come in until planting conditions are suitable – just secure them safely where they won’t blow over.
see our blog on Bare root plants for hedges for more information on care for bare root plants during and after planting.
We hope you had a wonderful Christmas break and wish you a happy and healthy new year.
The middle of the winter is an ideal time for planting - trees and shrubs are dormant and that means less stress when transplanting - as long as soil conditions are suitable (not waterlogged or frozen). So we are busy packing bare-root plants for despatch while container grown trees and shrubs are due in stock from the growers throughout the month.
As always we are very happy to discuss your requirements and wish you a successful year in the garden and landscaping!