Planting Our New Wood in Wales

“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.”

Well it’s just over a year since we moved to Wales and time has flown by. When we first moved here we both felt that it might be good to plant some more native woodland. Our reasoning was that, although we won’t be alive to see the mature trees, this would be our opportunity to leave a small legacy for the future together with providing great habitat for wildlife. Not to mention that it would go some way to reducing our carbon footprint.

Planting Native Woodland on our Smallholding
Our two man tree planting team plant 3600 trees in around 3 days!

Accordingly we are planting the steepest parts (around 5.5 acres) of our land with around 3600 trees to create a native wood that will encourage biodiversity. Anyway today our two man planting team, working for Howard at Heritage Woodlands, arrived and started to mark out the land prior to planting the trees complete with stakes and tree guards.

Steep Woodland planting
The land is steeper than it looks with the tyre tracks showing where the Quad bike had difficulties; so everything is being done by hand on the slope.

The planting mix consists of 50% Ash, 20% Oak, 10% Hazel, 10% Field Maple and 10% Bird Cherry. The planting is hard work as it involves walking up and down the slope all day so the guys have our admiration as they are planting around 1000 trees a day between them! Of course for each tree they have to walk up and down 4 times (digging the hole, planting the tree, putting the guard on and putting the cane in).

Trees planted on our land
Trees being planted on our land in Wales.

Once the planting is finished the area around each tree will be sprayed to help keep them free from grass etc. Now we will have the task of keeping the planting clean for a few years until the trees are growing well. Voles can be a particular problem if the grass gets too long; as they can get inside the plant guards and start gnawing the bark of the trees.

It will be great to look back in 10 years time once the trees have started to get established.

One day, long after we have ‘kicked the bucket’ there will be a woodland here for future generations to enjoy and timber to use or to heat someone’s house. Hopefully the Buzzards and Red Kites will still nest here and wheel overhead. There is nothing more glorious than wandering out on a Spring morning and hearing the cry of the Buzzards. In a world of short term thinking it feels rather refreshing to be doing something that will take 50 to 100 years to come to maturity.

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