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Seasonal

  • Hot weather advice

    There are certainly some extremes of weather in the UK at the moment: while storms and flooding are occurring in the north, in the south there is a drought and heatwave. I am sure those of you who have planted trees and shrubs this year have been watering through a warm dry spring and on through the summer. Trees have been doing quite a bit of growing since spring and the conditions mean that they may well be showing some stress and even going into autumn early. Shallow rooted trees like birch particularly, can show 'heat stress' with some leaves turning yellow in late summer.

    In the South East of England gardeners are being encouraged not to use hosepipes and we hope that wise use of watering cans and water butts mean that trees and shrubs can still be watered. 'Grey water' saved from baths and washing up can be used in the garden if necessary. Water butts may well be empty now but make sure you have some for future use when it rains!

    Remember - watering early morning and evening is the most effective as there is less evaporation at these times. Some leaves 'droop' in the mid-day heat, don't automatically assume they need more water - they often perk up in the evening and morning with cooler conditions - it is possible to over water as well as under water - the symptoms are similar.

    Do read our 'Guide to watering newly planted trees and shrubs' - we may well get some rain soon but it has to be steady and prolonged to soak in after a drought so do check the soil moisture as recommended in the guide.

  • Our favourite Trees

    Simon Johnson our Commercial Manager's favourite tree of the moment - Elaeagnus Quicksilver - silver foliage, fragrant yellow flowers, a lovely small tree growing to approximately 4m. It likes a sunny site!

    Elaeagnus Quicksilver Elaeagnus Quicksilver
  • What to do with fruit trees during the ‘June Drop’

    Now we’re halfway through June, owners of fruit trees may have noticed the fruit starting to drop off from the trees.

    Commonly known as the ‘June Drop’, the early summer sees fruit trees flowering to the extent that they naturally shed some of their produce.

    english woodlands fruit trees

    This is usually caused by either an excessive fruit load, whereby there is a surplus amount of fruit that becomes too heavy for a tree to carry.

    Other causes tend to be that a tree has limited carbohydrate resources and needs to lose fruit to respire properly, or even turbulent weather conditions. Another major cause of damaged fruit, unsuitable for a crop, is inadequate cultivation, and this is something that you can rectify yourself.

    Pruning to allow the tree’s branches, in order for it to access more light, is one method that gardeners may want to try.

    Another useful method is to thin your fruit (i.e. manually removing any surplus) in order to help immature trees to conserve energy. Instead this energy will be spent on developing roots, foliage and branches, meaning the tree will have a better foundation to harvest in future years. Certainly, it is important that a specimen does not expend too much energy in a year’s crop, lest it affect the next year’s produce.

    Pruning and thinning benefits the remaining fruits, allowing them to develop to the right size, and allowing them good access to sunlight and oxygen.

    When it comes to apple or pear trees, you will want to remove any fruit that has an odd shape, position, or that are damaged in any way. Within any given cluster, there will often be a ‘king’ fruit that has all of these attributes, and will definitely need removing right away. Make sure you use secateurs or long scissors for the job, or you can twist them off by hand if that’s easier.

    Plums have a habit of over-cropping too, but are easy to thin out with a thumb and forefinger; leave out one pair every 15cm.

    If your fruit has already started dropping, you will want to get started thinning and pruning, maintaining the trees as you see fit until mid-July.

    If you have any questions or queries on best pruning and thinning practices, don’t hesitate to contact us. If you’re hoping to buy fruit trees then we have pear, apple, cherry, plum trees and more available online, in our fruit trees category.

    Furthermore, if you would like to purchase any of our hedges, shrubs, accessories, or trees for gardens, then feel free to browse the site to view our comprehensive selection.

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