Together, Doing Good In The Neightbourhood – For Over 20 Years

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by Terry Smith

We have been active during the tree planting season which starts with National Tree Week during the last week of November and finishes at the end of March.

In November we added to the trees we planted at Privett Road in 2012. The original trees have improved the site enormously with the cherry and silver birch doing particularly well, the rowan prodcuing large numbers of red berries and the hazel will soon need to be coppiced. The original pack included a Royal Oak grown from an acorn from one of the royal estates to mark the diamond jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. That tree is also healthy and will eventually dominate the site.

We planted around 40 trees, mainly small hazels with silver birch, rowan and a guelder rose to add variety and colour.

In January we had four sessions planting and mulching 250 whips (young trees around one metre tall) at Crookhorn Golf Course. We met on Thursday morning instead of the usual Sunday to avoid the busiest times for the golf club and reduce the possibility of being hit by golf balls while we were working. The whips were supplied by the Tree Officer for Portsmouth City Council and were a mixture of hawthorn, blackthorn, hazel, beech and oak. They were planted approximately one metre apart and should soon form a copse to the side of the 14th fairway. We were joined by Havant Borough Tree Wardens and the Green & Healthy City Project Officer for Portsmouth City Council.

In March PAWARA (assisted by members of the 1st Purbrook Scout Group) planted ten fruit trees in a circle at the car park end of Ladybridge Road Park to create an orchard in commemoration of the coronation of King Charles III.

The Tree Council supplied two Golden Orchard packs as part of celebrations to mark fifty years of The Tree Council. All the trees have gold or golden in the name and most will produce golden fruit.

The trees are two each of Julia’s Late Golden and Paradise Gold apples; Golden Hornet crab apple; Oullins Golden gage and Golden Glow apricot. We will need to be patient because the trees will not produce fruit for the first two years although their blossom will make an attractive addition to the area.

A thick layer of wood chip was spread around the trees to help suppress weeds and keep moisture in the soil.

A wire cage was stapled to each stake to protect the young fruit trees.

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