Record of my work experience with Exmoor National Park

Tree planting for National Tree Week

Today we were out on the Golf Course at college to plant 400 trees. We joined the Level 2 students and set out digging holes and planting trees at pre-planned positions on the course. Red markers denoted English Oak, white markers for Sessile Oak and yellow markers for Scotts Pine trees.

I assisted with planting 2 Sessile Oaks and 6 English Oaks as well as three holly trees.

English Oak (Quercus robur)

English Oak (Quercus robur)

English Oak (Quercus robur)

Sessile Oak (Quercus petraea)

It is most important to make sure the hole is dug to the correct depth so the highest root is just below the surface level when the hole is filled in. Usually the square of turf cut out when you begin digging the hole is put back into the bottom of the hole, grass side down as the grass will decay and create a good nutrient rich base for the tree. The tree is carefully positioned in the hole and earth filled in around. As the earth is filled in it is important to shake the tree up and down a little so the earth settles around the root system. As the earth is filled in, carefully pressing down with either a fist or the heel of a boot to compact the earth and secure the roots is advised. Once the tree is in place and the earth firmed down around it, a stake may be used to help support the tree (this depends on the size of tree being planted, usually stakes are used for trees over about 3 feet in height) and finally a wrapper or protector is put around the tree to protect it from mice, rabbits or squirrels and anything else that may eat or damage the tree whilst it grows.
The trees will be watered in and then regularly checked to make sure they are healthy and growing well. The protectors and fastening stakes may need to be adjusted as the trees grow and the stakes may need replacing with larger ones as the tree gains height.
Protectors also encourage vertical growth so the tree has a tendency to climb straight up, this produces aesthetically pleasing trees which grow straight.

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