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Thread: Planting Hedgy/shrubby type trees for conservation/feed

  1. #1

    Planting Hedgy/shrubby type trees for conservation/feed

    alright folks

    just looking for ideas/info or experience.

    Hoping to plant a few hundred trees/mibee more this spring, but is going to be a long term thing. Ideally wanting smaller growing trees as quite a steep banking so worried about rooting/windblow issues, althou at the moment some pretty large mature Sycamore growing there which i'm going to gradually fell or reduce crown/pollard.

    Was thinking of dead wooding some/ring barking so leaving it as standing dead wood for birds/bugs.
    But am i right in saying that even dead sycamore offers little conservation value? Plus i know it becomes brittle and unstable safe fairly quickly after dieing.

    So i'm thinking of traditonal hedging type species (haw thorn, Blackthorn, Hazel, Rowan, Holly etc, possibly some Juniper) i will be allowing them to grow fully thou so not a hedge. Really wanting to plant treee/shrubs with a decent conservation value, either feeding or nesting, generally for insect birds, possibly some Buddicea? for butterfilies and paticularly red squirrels, think got about a dozen different reds coming to my feeders now and a cheeky bugger that climbs into my IBC where i keep all the feed. Gave me a right fright 1st couple of times i've got near/opened and he's shot out of it

    Wot tree species would folk on here advise?? (Bear in mind SW Scotland)
    Also any decent localish nurseries to SW scotland? don't want to be buying imported trees/diseases.

    Also is there any way of guaranteeing the tree u buy will produce a decent ammount of berries/fruit?
    I know a few areas with lots of sloe bushes but hardly produce any sloes and this has been for 10+ years with little or no fruit, while i know 3 trees that every year are completely loaded with sloes and u can pick buckets in no time.
    Would i be better taking cuttings of those good sloe bushes and growing them on myself

  2. #2
    I planted a conservation hedge around our property about 10 years ago, think it was about 1000 plants. They were dry rooted and you put them in around early Jan. mind you thats down here in the south. Would imagine you may have problems with frozen ground in Scotland. They were sold as "conservation hedging" and mainly inluded do rose, hazel, blackthorn etc. simply pushed spade into the ground and dropped the dry root into the slot. It took about 5 years to get really established but is now full of berries and wildlife

  3. #3
    Great thing to do and something I'm keen on .ive found fencing them in without guards they do better but guess you'll have to guard them .just google to find supplies in your area who will know what does best for your soil type we've just planted a small plantation so it's getting plenty of moisture right now .
    good luck N

  4. #4
    We used a locol company called Kings nursery in Rayne Essex for both our bushes and rabbit guards, they may do delivery but sure you can find someone more local to you

  5. #5
    Cheers folks, ES its not that cold up here, we don't quite have permafrost yet

    Generally u can plant trees up to april time anyway and years ago would plant right up till mid June but trees were kept chilled, but that was when a serious ammount of planting was going on 70;s and 80's. Done a bit of planting in my time

    It more a 40ish m steep banking rather than a hedge, althou there will be some small hedges going in elswhere.

    What type of specis did u plant? Have i forgot any decent ones with a decent conservation value? (usuals Blackthorn, hawthorn, rowan,holly, hazel, buddicea)
    Got quite a few Spindle trees there already that are absolutley laden with fruit but very little seems to eat it.

    Hoping not to fence it got a couple of hares just so probably just put some short guards on, got a few deer but was meaning to plant a deer lawn below it hopefully keep them off the trees and keep my freezer filled

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by countrryboy View Post
    alright folks

    just looking for ideas/info or experience.

    Hoping to plant a few hundred trees/mibee more this spring, but is going to be a long term thing. Ideally wanting smaller growing trees as quite a steep banking so worried about rooting/windblow issues, althou at the moment some pretty large mature Sycamore growing there which i'm going to gradually fell or reduce crown/pollard.

    Was thinking of dead wooding some/ring barking so leaving it as standing dead wood for birds/bugs.
    But am i right in saying that even dead sycamore offers little conservation value? Plus i know it becomes brittle and unstable safe fairly quickly after dieing.

    So i'm thinking of traditonal hedging type species (haw thorn, Blackthorn, Hazel, Rowan, Holly etc, possibly some Juniper) i will be allowing them to grow fully thou so not a hedge. Really wanting to plant treee/shrubs with a decent conservation value, either feeding or nesting, generally for insect birds, possibly some Buddicea? for butterfilies and paticularly red squirrels, think got about a dozen different reds coming to my feeders now and a cheeky bugger that climbs into my IBC where i keep all the feed. Gave me a right fright 1st couple of times i've got near/opened and he's shot out of it

    Wot tree species would folk on here advise?? (Bear in mind SW Scotland)
    Also any decent localish nurseries to SW scotland? don't want to be buying imported trees/diseases.

    Also is there any way of guaranteeing the tree u buy will produce a decent ammount of berries/fruit?
    I know a few areas with lots of sloe bushes but hardly produce any sloes and this has been for 10+ years with little or no fruit, while i know 3 trees that every year are completely loaded with sloes and u can pick buckets in no time.
    Would i be better taking cuttings of those good sloe bushes and growing them on myself
    Sloe and blackthorn are the same tree - Prunus Spinosa. I'd imagine if you ringbarked a sycamore it would probably carry on growing from underneath where you ringbarked it as they are pretty resistant trees. This would probably mean the top would die out but the root system would still remain strong. Any deadwood is better than no deadwood in regards to habitat. Even if you just felled it and left the trunk lying in the dirt it could potentially become a host to many insects and mammals that live under dead wood. Pollarding it back then ring barking it would probably be the safest way of keeping it up right but you may have to ring bark it for a couple of years
    Last edited by James110; 13-12-2015 at 11:31.

  7. #7
    Cheers James, i realise Sloes and Blackthorn were the same tree.

    But sycamore doesnae really rot does it? Does it not just become a hard brittle mess? I never think sycamore are that resilent, well they definately don't like having there root covered with tons of extra soil, had to climb/fell some that had died after they altered the ground level and trees just died fairly quickly. Were a bloody nightmare to deal with, when they hit the deck just shattering was not a happy bunny when i had to section parts down.

    Possibly thinking of getting some already rotten softwoods and hoist/tirfor them up in to the canopy and tie them in to add decent dead wood. Not 100% sure thou as never seen or hear of it being done before

  8. #8
    Sorry, I didn't mean to teach you to suck eggs! From what I've seen from working in syc woodlands it does rot down pretty well. I'd imagine that its not the best habitat as the bark on it doesn't remain solid whilst the centre rots out - like silver birch which makes great deadwood habitat. It is a coppice wood though so it will probably shoot again. Raising the ground level around most trees tends to effect them as it stops the roots from being able absorb oxygen that is in the pores of the soil.

    I spent the week before last felling ivy covered ash trees in a customers garden... spent 10 minutes felling them then 3 hours raking up the branches as they exploded upon hitting the ground.

    I guess you could buy some really low grade softwood and pile it up to create some really good deadwood habitat. I've never seen that - IMO it would be safer to get a few 3m poles and set them into the ground a few feet and have them sticking upwards to make some decent woodpecker poles? I learnt to spike up a pole that had been done like that and it was fairly solid.

  9. #9
    Dinae worry.

    Aye that the sort of things i'm thinking off, i know a couple of local estates and hopefully they'll let me scavenge some of the timber piles left round the estate that aren't quite an artic full.

    I'll mibee try leaving some then, never really seen it real rotten

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