The Ash Tree Project
The Growth Team provides our customers with a fantastic opportunity to gain gardening work experience. In addition, these projects provide customers with training and support to carry out practical gardening tasks which help preserve the Surrey countryside and public spaces.
An Ash Tree at Langtons has become infected with Ash dieback, a common disease of Ash trees in this country imported from overseas.
The Ash tree is situated on the edge of the orchard rather than in woodland which would be its natural habitat. Remarkably the tree is fighting back therefore the team decided to give it all the help they could.
Willow is a natural source of antibiotic to fight against this kind of disease. So It was decided that if they could improve the habitat the tree would survive.
The plan was to provide a woodland type setting and also nourish the tree with willow wood chippings to fight against the disease.
By doing this the team would learn new skills and practice established skills in a new context.
Hover over the photos below to find out how they got on!
The willow was coppiced. This is a traditional and sustainable way of harvesting the precious timber as the tree can regrow.
The willow was then processed ready for wood chipping, the bark and small branches are the most potent part of the willow tree.
Before the chippings could be laid the the area around the tree was trimmed.
An area of the tree was roped off as too much biomass against the trunk of the tree causes more harm than good.
The chippings from the willow harvested filled two tonne bags! The wood was chipped by Growth Team staff using our own wood-chipper
The chippings are raked out into the leaf fall area of the tree. Hopefully as the chippings break down the antibiotic properties will be taken up by the roots of this magnificent tree!
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