As the grey clouds of winter start to evaporate and the long-missed sun finally emerges, for a little while at least – after all, this is Britain – we can finally, thankfully, say that spring has returned.
The vibrant blanket of green that is ivy gives a home and garden a sense of charm and character. Ivy-covered buildings and trees look like mankind has stepped back for a while and allowed nature to take back control, and surely that’s a good thing isn’t it? Well, not exactly!
Winter is the ideal time to prune your trees. Ignoring this, or doing a poor job, could consign your trees to long-term issues in health, in fruitfulness, in growth, and even in its very survival through the long cold months.
Many green-fingered gardeners or weekend horticulturists may question whether they need to employ the services of a tree surgeon – after all, there’s little that can’t be done these days with access to the right equipment and Google/YouTube. However, the fact is that not only is the equipment hazardous for the untrained individual to use, but without the proper arboreal know-how it is possible to do more harm than good in your garden. Amateur tree surgery attempts and poor pruning practices can have unsightly and potentially dangerous consequences, so it’s important to consider carefully whether you have the appropriate knowledge before you decide to go DIY with your tree care.
When I was younger I used to love picking blackberries with my parents. It’s not like we did it all the time, but once in a while, bucket in hand, we’d traipse off to Alexander Palace or any other accessible bramble Mecca and pick away until our fingers were stained rosy with juice. BUT, as well as being a reason for an outing on a Sunday to seek out this wild crop that mum would turn into jam, it was also instilled in me from an early age, not to eat any berries unless mum and dad were there. This warning was issued because no matter how inviting berries might look, some present a real danger as they are poisonous. It was a bit like the ‘don’t pick mushrooms’ speech we got as well.
This article is for you if you are looking to fell a tree in your garden, or you have an unsightly or inconvenient stump in your garden, because stump removal can be a really tough task for the uninitiated.
The cuckoo’s call may be the soundtrack to a summer’s day, but its nature is to decimate the homes of other birds by rolling eggs from a nest and replacing them with their own. If you cut down trees or trim your hedgerows without consideration for the birds that may have made their homes there then you will be the cuckoo, decimating their habitats. However, there is an easy way to avoid this and keep your garden’s foliage tamed while protecting the fauna that call it home.
Tree surgery is a dangerous business. You might think this statement is rather obvious, what with chainsaws, ropes and working at height being part and parcel of the profession, but more and more ‘cowboys’ are entering the market (and also the column inches of national newspapers when things go wrong…). This article aims to help you to sort that Stetson-wearing, horseshoe-throwing, tobacco-chewing lot from the professionals.
The British summer can be an unpredictable season. You know where you are with autumn, it’ll be cold and wet, in winter it’ll be cold and wet, and in spring it’ll be wet and slightly less cold. But summer can be so many things. There could be summer storms, sweltering drought and even flash floods. It could be unseasonably cold or hot, or seesaw between the two throughout. But while we Brits are used to the random roll of the dice that is our summertime weather, trees are less resilient so we need to prepare for every eventuality.
If you have trees in your front, back or side gardens, in your grounds or as one of your management/maintenance responsibilities, then you have a choice to make – leave them to grow as nature intended, cut them back yourself when you feel they need it, or call in the experts.