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English Woodlands Burrow Nursery Blog

  • Watering System Installation – Root Rain

    Depending on the weather and soil available to you, there are a few watering systems available to gardeners to ensure a direct level of control over the watering your tree receives. Irrigation systems like the Leaky Pipe are extremely popular, and with good reason. They’re particularly useful for planting new borders of mixed shrubs and perennial plants. However for individual tree planting effective irrigation requires a perforated pipe delivering water directly to the root zone. The Root Rain irrigation system is one of our more popular tree pit pipes, being quick to install, fast and efficient to irrigate and an excellent tool for improving the drought tolerance of your trees. So in this space we’re going to instruct you on the ideal way to install a Root Rain system in your garden.

    1. Go ahead planting as you normally would for any rootballed tree. Backfill to the point that there’s about 8 inches, or 20cm left of space below ground level surrounding the root ball.
    2. Stop backfilling, and attach the top filler cap to the top end of the pipe. This is to avoid accidentally filling the pipe with soil. Everything should be fastened to the bracket, and we’ve pictured the setup for your convenience
    3. Place the pipe in the pit looping close to the edge of the root system and connect the free and to the bottom cap. If you prefer simply detach it from the bracket. Bear in mind that the filler cap should not be more than 2-5cm above the final ground level.
    4. Secure the bracket in position by nailing it to the tree stake, a single galvanised nail will do the job.
    5. Finally finish backfilling the hole, firming gently over the pipe. Installation is now complete, and water and air can freely access the root ball.

    As a method for keeping one tree efficiently irrigated the Root Rain Irrigation system comes highly recommended by English Woodlands. We’re always happy to provide
    practical planting advice, so contact us if you’re unclear on installation and we’ll help in any way we can.

  • Watering Systems – Leaky Pipe

    Gardeners are quite rightly always seeking more efficient ways to keep their plants watered and healthy. Individual trees benefit from tree pit irrigation systems, such as the Metro and Urban watering pipes, ensuring water is directed to the root zone. In larger areas of planting, for instance shrub borders and hedges, a different irrigation system is far more appropriate.

    It’s important to avoid wastage and inefficiencies, we advise gardeners to consider Leaky Pipe watering systems, representing a proven method of irrigating plants effectively. So in this space we’re going to briefly discuss the setup and use of this convenient watering device, to help you make an informed decision on your investments.

    The irrigation system is setup as follows. The Leaky Pipe hosing will be placed along newly planted hedgerows and borders in rows around 60cm apart, to avoid over-watering. They are laid above the surface, though can be later covered with mulch to make the system less obvious. Connect the hosing together with the 16mm plastic piping where watering is not required, and once the system is complete a fitted connector will connect the system to a standard garden hose.

    The system allows you to water equally over a large area of ground without the wastage and energy costs associated with sprinkler systems, while directly controlling the flow of water by tap. Small pinholes, the “leaks”, will be able to slowly release water from above or just below the surface.

    All parts are available on our website, from 100m rolls of Plastic Piping for £90.00, to 50-100m rolls of leaky piping for £64.80 and £108.00 each. The piping can be easily cut to shape, and hose connectors come from as little as £2.40.

    The piping can be easily cut to shape to suit the size of your garden and irrigation needs, with the added bonus of being entirely hidden from view if you choose to do so. Remain aware of the possibility of freezing during the winter, and drain the system if freezing conditions are likely. Always remember to contact us with any questions you might have, and we’ll make every effort to try and help.

  • Trees for Containers – Noted for Colour

    We’re often asked what trees can be grown in containers, and recognise that individuals are interested in a huge variety of trees, depending on the personal goals they want to see their garden achieve. In this part of our blog series we’ll be taking a quick look at three container grown trees noted for the invigorating and striking colours they display. For anyone who wants a smaller, transportable tree that will inject interest and colour into their garden then these trees may be a perfect fit for you.

    Japanese Maple - Acer Palmatum

    This genus is highly sought after for its distinctive red and purple foliage. The leaves commonly feature a palmate leaf shape, though some feature finely dissected foliage. Colouring ranges from light to dark green, burgundy and even variegated in the summer. Some varieties are most desired for the deep, regal shade of red they acquire in autumn. One of the most aesthetically striking trees available, it’s a worthy centrepiece or background to any garden.

    The tree thrives in loam-based compost with good drainage and organic components, our recommendation being John Innes Number 3. It will require re-potting every few years until it reaches maturity, and be sure to wrap the pot in bubble wrap over winter to protect the roots from frost. The leaves scorch easily, so a partially shaded and sheltered site is preferred.

    Weeping Cherry - Prunus kiku-shidare zakura

    This small, deciduous specimen features intense pink blossoms blooming in late spring. While young the leaves appear bronze, though they take on a glossed green upon maturity and during the summer. The heavily blossomed branches are pendulous, and the tree is often employed as an exotic focal point in architectural work and city parks, as well as for use in an informal private garden.

    Not only is the Weeping Cherry easy to cultivate, it also proves fairly hardy. With John Innes No. 3 compost the plant will thrive when placed in full sun. Under normal conditions there’s no need to prune the plant as upkeep or to stimulate growth, making the Weeping Cherry fairly low maintenance, making it an ideal specimen to be kept in a container.

    Red Robin - Photinia Fraseri

    Due to its vigorous growth this evergreen shrub is often used for hedging, though it serves just as well being grown in a container. The plant possesses white flowers and glossy green foliage, though it is best recognised by the deep red of its new growth. At times of new growth the shrub can outwardly appear entirely red, standing out among most shrubs for the consistency and strength of its colour.

    Growth can be up to 30cm annually so the plant will require pruning to retain the shape and size desired. This can be carried out after the initial spring growth and again in summer to keep trained specimens tidy. Pruning the plant will encourage the desirable new red growth to continue. Red Robin tolerates most soils and if kept in a container John Innes No 3 loam based compost is again recommended. Photinia thrives best in a sunny or partially shaded site.

    Any of these genera would create a splash of colour into an informal garden, while featuring all the conveniences that container-grown plants bring. If you have any queries about the topic then please contact us today, and we’d be happy to help out any way we can.

  • Trees for Containers – Evergreens

    There are plenty of benefits to keeping trees in containers. They’re mobile, able to be placed on paved areas and moved to sheltered areas during vulnerable periods. Additionally, they can come with you when moving home, or be easily rearranged to try out different garden structures. Evergreen plants can be even more convenient, surviving in a wide variety of soils and retaining leaves during winter. With these desirable traits, they’re perfect for setting up structure, interest and screening in the garden, particularly over winter. In this space we’re going to outline four evergreen trees suitable for container growing, to help you pick out a tree that’s right for your garden.

    Holly – Ilex species

    The Ilex genus is quite varied. There are over 400 species of Holly worldwide, all sharing a similar hardiness and appearance. Here we’ll focus on the Common Holly, Ilex Aquifolium, as much of the information remains relevant across the genus. Always remember to directly research any species you’re looking to buy, however.

    Often grown as a hedge, it also functions well as a specimen tree in a container. The spiny green leaves are glossy and present year-through. Expect the tree to yield a long-lasting crop of red berries in the autumn. Some animals enjoy eating them, birds particularly, though your use will be limited to admiring their ornamentation and the wildlife attracted into your garden. Remember the berries are mildly toxic to humans and eating them poses a real danger.

    The tree requires minimal cultivation and pruning, though it prefers to be left in full sun. Any type of soil will suffice, so long as you ensure the container has decent drainage. As one of the more iconic winter plants Holly is a great addition to any garden.

    Portugal Laurel – Prunus Lusitanica

    The Portugal Laurel is an evergreen tree tolerating partial shade. It’s fully hardy, drought resistant, and will survive well in even low quality soils of any type, just as long as they are well-drained. The tree again requires barely any maintenance, though you may wish to prune cautiously in mid-summer to retain the desired size and shape.

    For those searching for a little of everything the tree is an excellent choice. The tiny spring flowers are quite fragrant, and a few varieties will produce edible autumn fruit. The long, thick leaves are a pleasant dark green the full year round, and anyone seeking an evergreen with more of a ‘tree’ feel the Portugal Laurel may be exactly what they’re looking for.

    Yew – Taxus Baccata

    The Yew is popular as both topiary and hedging, though you’re more likely to be interested in the former if growing from a container. It’s almost entirely toxic, particularly the seeds, and features very little noticeable flowering. As with the above trees this species is entirely hardy, comfortable in any degree of light as well as exposure and urban pollution. Simply remember to keep it well drained.

    Suitable for topiary the Yew’s foliage is a dense and bushy green. The thin, needle-like leaves grow in two rows on each shoot, though there is little supplementary colouring to speak of. You may be attracted to the Taxus Baccata if you’re looking for a classic topiary that requires little maintenance outside of your own design, without losing its appearance during the winter.

    Dwarf Pine – Pinus Strobus Nana

    A small conifer, the natural resemblance to Christmas trees is an attraction to many, and it’s not uncommon to see individuals purchasing a Dwarf Pine as a hardy, manageable Christmas tree that doesn’t require pruning or ground planting. Comfortable in any well-drained soil the tree requires no pruning whatsoever, though some insects including aphids may attack it. Bear in mind unlike some of the other trees listed the Dwarf Pine does require full sun.

    The tree has short green needles year round, and at times will produce brown ovular pinecones which may remain on the tree for long periods of time. If the chance to keep a manageable Christmas-appropriate tree sounds desirable to you, the Dwarf Pine might be the best choice available.

  • Rootgrow - Instructions for Professional Application

    Rootgrow - Instructions for Professional Application     

    Mycorrhizal Fungi, produced in the highly recommended product RootgrowTM, are a valuable part of the planting process. They help plants develop large secondary root systems, and are necessary to help plants grow in sterile soil. Using Rootgrow when planting a new specimen will greatly improve their chances of healthy growth and survival. However there are a few things to bear in mind, depending on whether you are applying the fungi through dry granules or Gel.

    Firstly, whichever type you employ it’s important to maintain that the granules must come into direct contact with the roots. Secondly, be sure to use the advised application rates. They are designed to ensure good colonisation occurs in 2-4 weeks, and under dosing will slow the process down. Over dosing will do little more than waste money.

    Dry Granule Application (Rootballed & Containerised plants)

    For smaller plants, we’d say those up to 30 litres or 12-14cm in girth, sprinkle the granules evenly into the planting hole. Stick to the recommended dosage and place the plant directly onto them, the roots should be in contact with the granules.

    For specimens over this size apply the granules directly to the top half of the plant where the roots are most biologically active. Start refilling the planting hole until the backfill is 30-40cm away from the surface. If the plant is containerised proceed to expose the roots by brushing away the compost, and again apply the granules directly. If you’re dealing with a rootball then simply apply the granules onto the moistened rootball.

    Gel Application (Bare root plants and Whips)

    First you must create a fine gel mix. For each 8-10 litres of water you use add 50ml of gel powder. These will be provided in the pack as two 25ml scoops. Stir the new mix until it takes on the consistency of wallpaper paste, ideal for applying to the root system. If it’s not quite right then simply add slightly more water or powder to even it out.

    Remember how much solution you’ve created, since you’ll now add 1 litre of dry granules for every 4 litres of solution. Once they’re in the granules should be evenly suspended.

    With your gel solution made, dip the bare roots of the plant into the gel until the entire root system has been covered. When dipping whips be sure not to dip too many at simultaneously, we recommend no more than 25 per dip. An excess of this may result in uneven coverage.

    Get Planting

    Rootgrow is a great way to inspire growth in new plants, eventually growing a large and efficient root system to increase their uptake of nutrients and water. Be sure to follow the instructions we’ve laid out for you, and the process should be entirely painless.

  • Rootgrow - An Overview

    Rootgrow – An Overview

    Rootgrow is one of our absolute favourite products for encouraging fast and sturdy growth in plants, and one that we 100% recommend. We’ve mentioned it before, but we thought it would be worth going into a little more detail about what it is and how it can benefit you, so today we’ve set aside some space for just that.

    What are Mycorrhizal Fungi?

    Plant roots in all soils interact with a staggering number of microorganisms, and these are perhaps the most important. They’ve been helping plants grow for over 500 million years by helping them to extract nutrients and withhold water. They’ll permanently live with the plant, trading an enhanced nutrients supply in exchange for sugars and carbon from the plant. 90% of all land plants are involved in one of these relationships to augment their own root system.

    Then what’s Rootgrow?

    Rootgrow is made up of a mixture of UK mycorrhizal fungi, including AMF, ECMF and bio-additives. The substance can be applied in two forms, either as a dry granule or by mixing with water and hydrogel to create a root dipping treatment for bare root plants.

     How do I apply it?

    If you’re interested in the product then check out our blog on this topic. But essentially you can either apply the granules directly to the rootball and tree pit, or mix the gel and granules into water. This makes a solution the bare roots can be dipped in. Just make sure the roots are in direct contact with the Rootgrow.

    Do I need Rootgrow?

    Most landscape plants are raised in sterile compost with access to water and nutrients. Being planted into soil is a radical environment change and can be stressful, resulting in poor growth or death. You’re unlikely to have enough of the right type of fungi to affect the plant. 5 grams of Rootgrow contain up to 5000 pieces of fungi ready to colonise the entire root system.

    How will it benefit me?

    Whether you’re a gardener, parks manager or landscaper, Rootgrow will definitely benefit you. The reasons are extensive, a list is the best way to show you.

    1. One treatment lasts forever, the fungal partner will grow in hand with the plant, and you’ll never need to reapply.
    2. It’s easy to use! The dry granules are particularly easy to apply.
    3. You’ll see better growth, and sooner. In the 2-4 weeks after planting you can expect to see the active root area of the plant increased by up to 700 times.
    4. Reduced plant mortality, since the enhanced root system will nourish them during their most vulnerable phase.
    5. Drought resistance, the fungal roots will make better use of what moisture is still available.
    6. Better fertilizer uptake. Not only will you only need one application of the fungi, but repeated use products like fertilizer will be far more effective.
    7. The ultra-fine fungal strands will be able to unlock obscure trace elements from the soil, that regular roots would be unable to receive.
    8. Replanting problems, such as rose and apple sickness, will be resisted. The weak and damaged roots will start receiving nutrients far quicker than without the fungi.

    Rootgrow’s a great product, and we hope we’ve been able to clear up a few of the reasons why you might want it. Bear all this in mind, and if you’re ever after any information we haven’t gotten round to blogging about then don’t hesitate to contact us. We love giving out planting advice and will always be happy to help.

  • Trees for Containers: Sunny with Edible Fruit

    In many situations a potted tree is simply more appropriate than a ground planted one. Many prefer the ease, mobility and flexibility that a pot-grown tree provides. Here we’re going to discuss a few trees bearing edible fruit that are suitable for pot growing with exposure to the sun.

    Strawberry Tree – Arbutus Unedo

    Strawberry Trees are an evergreen, multi-stem plant reaching an ultimate height of five to eight meters, though if you choose it can be grown as a single-stem tree. It’s prunable, making it an ideal half-standard topiary specimen. Pink flowers appear in autumn, with the previous year’s blossom producing rounded red fruits not dissimilar to strawberries. It’s fantastic choice for beginners, being fairly hardy and attractive. The red fruit, white/pink blossoms and red, shedding bark make for a striking combination.

    Fig – Ficus Carica

    The Fig Tree is another autumn flowerer with flowers appearing within what resembles a small fruit. It also produces edible green/brown fruit called figs between August and September. Like the Strawberry Tree it is hardy, and can grow fairly high and vigorously. This makes the Fig ideal for potted growth, where the roots will be restrained. As long as it’s kept in well drained soils and sheltered from cold winds it will prove easy enough to cultivate. This genus is a great choice for individuals seeking an unusual fruit tree than can be kept in a pot. The foliage of large, deep lobed green leaves is rough to the touch and majestic.

    Olive Tree – Olea Europaea

    The Olive Tree is quite adaptable, growing between five to ten meters. It can prosper in most soil types at various pH, including chalky, clay, loamy and sandy, just as long as you keep the soil well-drained throughout the year. Though generally hardy it proves vulnerable to low temperatures over extended periods, so be sure to take measures to shelter it. They usually produce black fruit in autumn, though in the colder environment of the UK you cannot count on this for sure, and the olives are unlikely to ripen.

    Each of these genera would make an attractive an excellent addition to any garden. Take a look through our website for more information, and see what kind of tree would suit your needs.

  • Advice for Trees in Containers with English Woodlands

    We’re often asked what plants can be kept in containers. There’s any number of reasons that lead people to choose a potted plant instead of a tree planted in the ground. For those with small gardens or balconies a ground plant may be inconvenient. If you’re looking to just try out a plant location or intend on eventually moving house then the mobility of a potted plant becomes invaluable.

    With this in mind, sometimes going with a potted plant is absolutely the right decision. We generally recommend a loam based compost, providing good soil structure, nutrients and weight to keep the pot from toppling. Unlike ground planted trees that can be staked during their initial growth, potted plants stand a real risk of toppling due to or wind. Regular watering is also essential, considering that they grow in a contained, sheltered space. However the benefits are quite tangible. They are free standing, and can be moved in and out of shelter as needed, as well as being easy to remove and transport. There are plenty of trees that are suitable for growing in pots, and these can be found on our website.

    In this portion of our blog we’ll be outlining the different kinds of trees suitable for potted cultivation, with sections of advice and information to help you choose between them. We’ll group them into categories of utility and interest that are relevant to you, such as fruit, blossom, aesthetics and shade requirements

    At English Woodlands we always want to ensure you find the type of plant that suits your needs, budget and environment. We’ll keep updating our blog as a comprehensive resource, but if there’s something you’re looking for and don’t see than always feel free to contact us with any queries you might have.

  • What is Environmental Sustainability?

    If you have found yourself in this particular part of our blog, then we have no doubt that you are interested in finding out more about Environmental Sustainability. If that’s the case, then all you have to do is read on, to learn a little about what is meant by Environmental Sustainability, and how it is helping the planet – on a small scale, and worldwide.

    As you can probably tell from its own title, environmental sustainability is about two things; the environment, and sustaining it. How exactly this is done, depends on what is done beforehand for there to be a need to sustain the environment. If a tree is cut down, planting one – or several – in its place, is part of sustaining the environment.

    Environmental sustainability includes taking the conscious decision to take action that will protect the natural world. This emphasises particularly on preserving the capability of the environment, in order to support human – and animal – life. In short, environmental sustainability is about humans taking care of the planet in order to make reparations for any damage we may have caused.

    For some, environmental sustainability is a small thing – throwing away rubbish that will not decompose, instead of throwing it in a field or on the ground, is a way to protect and preserve just a small piece of land. However, if everybody did this, then the piece of land saved would grow larger, and larger, until the majority of the earth was being treated respectfully.

    However, there are companies and other organisations that must make their sustainability actions even grander and more reliable. A furniture, or paper company, for example, will cut down thousands of trees. Planting new trees in their place, potentially twice the amount of them as well, is a way to sustain the tree life. It is big businesses whom are most concerned with environmental sustainability, as it will also sustain their business alongside it.

  • New look, for a new site

    English Woodlands have been suppliers of high quality plants and tree planting accessories since 1919. In our near one hundred year history we have supplied our products to an extensive range of people throughout the UK. From landowners to landscape contractors, to local authorities and the general public, thousands of people have had the benefit of working with us and our products to develop and sculpt their landscapes.

    If you are in need of reliable service, fast deliveries, and impeccable prices, then choose to become an English Woodlands customer. We pride ourselves on our reliability, and we work as hard as we can to provide every person with the highest level of customer service. From small, private users to larger contractors and landscapers, it’s our aim to become an online retailer and supplier everyone can count on.

    The quality of our products is something we pride ourselves on, and that is included in the quality of our website. You will find our delivery services as smooth as our navigation. When shopping online with English Woodlands, you are shopping with trust.

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