North London Tree Surgeons
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03 Jun 2019
Cherry tree in a garden planted

The right way of bedding out fruit trees

We’ve got a new gardening season at the threshold, and each of the landowners, whether he’s got a small or large plot, is building long-term plans for its settlement. It might seem that for allotment gardeners, whose sites have long been treated and planted, this process is much easier, but it’s not as they’ve got heavy workload every year. But for novice landowners everything is much more difficult. They should put a lot of efforts and work much before they get real visible results.
If You’ve got untreated plot of land, first of all You should uproot it from the wild plants, treat and cultivate the soil. And what is more newcomers usually plan some constructions on this stage. New owners of more or less treated land plots are usually in a hurry to plant it with the maximum of different cultures immediately after the acquisition. Frequently they unknowingly assume on their allotments many severe mistakes, which professionals then have to correct for a long time that sometimes take more than one year. Any rush in this case is no good. Before mastering the land plot, You should properly plan it with due consideration of the orientation relative to the cardinal directions, topography, location of close laid communications and other factors.
Try to imagine where and what should be located. You should decide where You will place utility zone, zone for premises (if there are no such ones), chose a place for garden beds and various fruit plants. Try to make a plan and put it on paper. Looking at your sketches try to imagine how you leave the house to fetch water, opening the greenhouse on your way to the well to give it airing and then, without going far from home, set about weeding the vegetable beds. Only after You have decided what is the most convenient alternate layout for You, proceed to the selection of fruit crops. Of course, the matter is not that simple, and even experienced and highly skilled designers sometimes spend much more time than a single day making a proper plan for the site. But, in our opinion, it is much more easer for each separate land owner to adapt his place of work and rest to his own dreams and plans.
Choosing a right assortment of fruit crops is also no simple matter. Lucky are those landowners who own more than 10 acres of land, in such a case, they can purchase and plant anything they want. But if your land plot is small and every piece of it is for a count, what should You do if You’d like to grow for your family the maximum number of crops?
The main mistake many allotment gardeners are making is that they are trying to buy as many seedlings as possible and plant the land plot with them massively. Being in the excitement they buy up everything without distinction. Please don’t try to grasp the immensity. At first, this tactics, of course, will bring some results and the harvest will be plenteous. But You should not forget that over the time plants need much more living space than in the early years, their need for nutrients, lighting and so on will change a lot. On the contrary, thick planting over the years will cause the harvest getting worse: the fruits will be small and tasteless.
While choosing planting material You should give preference to the best brands, both new and old proven ones. It is especially important to select promising cultivars which are recommended for the area where your garden plot is located. There is no point in bringing plants from other regions. So many disappointments get allotment gardeners in central regions, purchasing seedlings from the neighboring more southern countries. Strong-looking seedlings frequently fail to get accustomed to new conditions. The first winter would be fatal for this kind of planting material. Large majority of southern cultivars, surviving in the northern, eastern and western regions of the country, get not enough heat and the fruits are completely tasteless. Fruits of the northern cultivars ripen in the southern regions prematurely and lose the ability to storage. So, is it worth spending time and energy on growing those products, which You wouldn’t eat?
If your land plot is small it would be much more advantageous to put on it one or two cultivars of apple trees with different ripening terms. For example, the old and proven early ripening cultivars would be rather suitable, such as Melba, Papirovka. Later ripening cultivars appropriate for the long term storage are Sparzan and other. Not far from them You can bed out two or three bushes of edible honeysuckle of different and preferably not too high cultivars. Light penumbra of apple crown would not hurt them. But a shadow of large trees over the years will surely appear. Near to each other can coexist two bushes of black currant (with different ripening terms) or one bush of red and another of white current. We believe that You can always find a space for a couple of small Japanese quince bushes. Having chosen cultivars blossoming with white and scarlet red flowers, You will surely decorate your garden and collect the nutritious fruitage, which will implement you during the winter season with much-needed vitamin C.
Gooseberries would perfectly accommodate between plum trees. If You’d love to pick berries for a long period, You should select a red-, yellow- or green-fruited cultivars with different ripening terms and as the result from midsummer to autumn You’ll be able to relish not only delicious, but also very curative fruits of gooseberry.

Gooseberries  and fruit trees
Gooseberries are simply fantastic

We strongly discourage planting the land plot with many plum trees. Firstly, most of them give a huge amount of root-shoots, which You’ll have to fight endlessly. Secondly, in a fruitful year correctly chosen cultivars will give You enough fruits not only for feeding your family, but for canning and treating your friends, relatives and neighbors.
For children and for home treatment of colds it is necessarily to bed out somewhere near the fence a few bushes of a macrocarpous varietal raspberry. If for any reason You don’t like raspberry, try to bed out horticultural dewberry.
To an utmost regret such a much beloved by lots of people cultures as cherry will not produce crops at any land plot. That’s why before buying seedlings You should ascertain whether the land plot has a suitable location and what is more important, whether the soil is suitable for this crop (cherry categorically refuses to bear fruit on peaty soils). We recommend to decide on such cultivars as Lyubskaya, Vladimirskaya and Chocolate. These cultivars are winter-hardy, disease-resistant and bear fruit every year.
If desired, You can bed out pear trees with different ripening terms such as Lada – a cultivar ripening in summer, Chizhovskyaya – a cultivar ripening in late summer, and others.
And one more tip for You: do not bed out large spreading trees in the middle of the land plot, otherwise later it will shade the most of the plot. Try to bed out large trees and shrubs keeping close to the periphery of the plot. Please don’t forget that you still need a place for making cultivation beds for vegetable and herbaceous crops, strawberries. For these crops You should first of all pick up the most lightened place on the land plot with good soil conditions. At the southern wall of the house You can bed out grapes or any other mostly heat-loving plants.
Try to allocate a small site for recreation area where you could swing in a hammock or sit with your guests. In this area, You’d better try to use a decorative tree crops and perennial floricultural crop. You can get wants and needs met and incorporate in composition some decorative horticultural, such as barberry, viburnum, mespilus, hawthorn, sweet briar. In this matter everything depends on your taste and preferences. And of course, in the vicinity of recreation area You should not forget to bed out shrubs beautifully blooming and smelling during flowering – jasmine, lilac, silverberry elaeagnus and other.
You can always get in touch with us should you find yourself in a need of an advice.

Best wishes
Eugene

02 Apr 2016
Trees lawn and shrubs

Trees and shrubs on a lawn

Tree surgeon’s ideas on harmony between trees, shrubs and lawn

 

There is something incredibly attractive about combination of trees and shrubs Trees lawn and shrubson a lawn, so You should try to grow some in your garden. Trees lend variety to a landscape making it more interesting in addition they provide shade, protect and attract birds to the garden. A tree or even a lone bush bedded out on a lawn become the visual center of it and distract attention from the monotonous green space. Another important strong point of trees and shrubs is that, when they strike root they do not need any special care.

 

Choosing locations for trees on a lawn

 

Perhaps the most difficult thing about choosing a tree is the necessity to decide in favor of one or two cultivars from the myriad of commercially available. Nevertheless, it should be done: one visible from all sides tree looks most impressive. If You still want to bed out several trees it would be much better to allocate them in one compact group and not to scatter them all over the lawn.

A lonely tree on a lawn looks quite picturesque, but choosing a suitable location can sometimes be difficult. Please remember carefully that You shouldn’t plant it exactly in the middle of the lawn as it will look unfavorable there. If you don’t plan to arrange the rest of the garden around the chosen tree, it may be better to put the tree near a border.

From some coigne of vantage, the house or patio, peer at the lawn and the space behind it. Do you see anything You would prefer to hide? Do the windows of the neighboring house look over your garden? Try to allocate the tree in a way to cover up an undesired view from the window and at the same time to hide You from strangers’ glances. Otherwise, if your garden has picturesque surroundings, two or three properly allocated trees will help to combine your site with the surrounding landscape. But in the city a tree standing on the edge of a lawn creates an illusion of vast landscaped areas hiding behind it, even if your property is situated on a dusty city street.

Nota bene

For those areas of the lawn where You want to achieve more natural look, cultivating tall grass, bulbs or wild field flowers, try to avoid using exotic or hybrid trees. Trees and shrubs need to look natural and thus more seamless.

 

Deciduous ornamental trees

 

For a small lawn You should choose a tree that will look attractive, if not the whole Ornamental tree and lawnyear long, at least most or some of it. It is rather insufficient if the chosen tree has just one decorative feature, such as  beautiful blossom, fruitage or autumnal coloring. Chinese sward (Cornuskousa var. chinensis) is an amazing tree, which will delight You with large white flowers at the early summer, with red fruits later and with crimson foliage in autumn. Furthermore, it has a beautiful scaly rind, and expands upward and outward equally well.

Many cultivars of crab-apple trees (Malus) blossom very beautifully as well, and later on please an eye with the view of fruits; they are most suitable for planting on small lawns. Trees of Sorbus cashmiriana are small and sprawling with dark green pinnate leaves, white flowers, and later on they yield pink or white berries.

Trees with interesting unusual foliage such as acer griseum, northern maple (acer pensylvanicum), paper birch (especially Betula utilis var. jacquemotii) and sakura (Prunus serrula) look great on a lawn as well. All these trees do not grow too fast, do not have very dense crowns (grass would love it), and they are not too big and therefore are ideal for lawns.

There are not many trees that could compare in beauty of autumn leaves with weeping maple (Acer palmatum), when its paw-shaped leaves turn scarlet. Many cultivars of cherry trees (Prunus), such as Okate and Sargent (Prunus sargentii), can also boast a bright autumn foliage and beautiful blossom.

To the most space-saving trees could be relevant willow-leaf pear (Pyrus salicfolia) with a round crown, silvery leaves and cream-colored blossom and its weeping sub-type Pendula, and acacia (Robinia pseudoacacia) Umbraculifera with beautiful leaves. Choose these particular cultivar if you want to have a small tree, because other representatives of the species are much larger.

 

Evergreen ornamental trees

 

Evergreen trees, especially those ones with variegated or golden-yellow foliage, contrasting with grass, also look very impressive on the lawn. Taxus baccata Fastigiata is a straight columnar yew tree with bright yellow foliage. It grows slowly and is well suited for the lawn, as well as Picea pungens Koster – a lovely peg-shaped fir tree with a silver-blue crown. Pinus sylvestris Watereri – is a low, slow-growing pine with hard blue-gray needles and broad crown.

You cannot go wrong if you choose for your lawn an evergreen Pittosporum tenuifolium Silver Queen – a space-saving tree with a round crown and a gray-green leaves with a white rim.

One of the best evergreen trees is an arbutus x andrachnoides it has beautiful reddish-brown rind, glittering green foliage, white flowers, interesting fruits and stretching up crown.

 

Soil  at the base of the tree’s trunk

 

When planning to plant a tree on the lawn, You should remember to cut the grass around the tree trunk and that in autumn the tree will shed its leaves.

Base of tree and lawnThe problem of cutting the grass could be solved by leaving all bare section of soil around the trunk. Just let it be wide enough to ensure that you will not damage the tree trunk while cutting the grass on the lawn with the mower. At first, whilst the tree is small, you may plant small items around the tree’s base, but as the tree develops it will become too dry for most plants as well as  tree foliage will serve as an umbrella blocking all the sunshine. You should choose the plants very carefully, should you still desire to plant them under mature trees.
Weeping trees with branches hanging to the ground, such as the weeping birch or cherry, growing alone on a lawn, look very graceful and very popular. However, due to their shape, they create a very dense shade, which, of course, adversely affects the grass growing under them.

 

Planting plants under trees

 

Trees with a lightsome openwork foliage are ideal for planting as subordinate crop since they permit light through in a proper way. Himalayan birch (Betula utilis var. jacquermontii) is especially good for this, as it has small-size and sparse foliage. However, most of the trees give a deep shadow, and therefore the choice of plants for planting beneath them is limited. The most reasonable decision in this case is planting spring bulbous cultivars, which are able to grow up and finish blossoming before dense foliage is being formed on the tree. Shade-demanding ground-cover plants feel very comfortably under such trees as well. If you grow evergreen trees on your lawn, it is likely that you’ll have to confine them to their own decorative effect.

You should not plant any bushes or large plants under a lonely tree growing on a lawn, as they will merge and distort the silhouette of the trunk of the tree, but different climbers would just decorate it. However, You should keep in mind that too strong and viable climbing plant can strangle a small tree and You should take that into account, while making decision.

 

Shade-resistant plants that could be planted under trees

 

Bulbous cultivars

Anemone;

Cyclamen;

Aconite also known as eranthis hyemalis;

Adder-grass or fawn lily, or trout lily, or dog’s tooth violet also known as eritronium;

Snowdrop also known as Galanthus;

Bluebell or eastern camass, or wild hyacinth also known as Scilla hyacinthoides;

Birthroot or wake robin also known as trillium.

Perennials

Anemone;

Astilbe;

Bergenia or giant rock foil;

Digitalis or foxglove, or finger-flower also known as deadman’s bells;

Epimedium or rowdy lamb herb, or barrenwort, or bishop’s hat, or fairy wings, or horny goat weed also known as Yin Yang Huo;

Wood spurge (Euphorbia amygdaloides).

 

Climbing plants

 

Actinidia kolomikta or climbing perch also known as anabas testudineus;

Virgins-bower or clematis large-leaved, or leather flower, or traveller’s joy, or Jessamine also known as or clematis alpine;

Cremocarp or eccremocarpus scabrous;

Common or wild hops also known as humulus lupulus;

Honeyberry or honeysuckle, or woodbine, or caprifoil, or button tree also known as lonicera;

Roses;

Indian cress or nasturtium also known as tropaeolum majus.

 

Shrubs on lawns

 

If You do not have enough space on your lawn for a tree, plant a bush, or maybe even two or three. Some bushes are stretching upwards and, if properly cut, will look like a tree with multiple trunks. A lawn is a perfect place to plant your favorite bush, so you’ll be able to admire it from all sides, and it will not have to fight with its neighbors for light, water and nourishment.

The same advantages and disadvantages are inherent for shrubs growing on lawns as for trees, with the only difference that they don’t have clear-cut trunks, which means that the foliage is much lower and grass suffers more from it. Two main problems you may encounter: grass can grow too high, because you will not be able to approach it with the mower, or it might simply perish in the dense shade. In the first case, a simple scissors could solve your problem. And in the second You’ll have to clean up around the bush trunk and either make it increasingly wider as the bush grows, or regularly cut the bush to keep it in the same boundaries. You should make the choice with due account to the type of shrub and its immunity to frequent pruning.

 

Ornamental shrubs for lawns recommended by our tree surgeons

 

Juneberry or bilberry, shadbush, or sugar berry, or service tree, or juice peer also known as amelanchier canadensis;

Cianotus Skylark;

Zante-wood or smoke bush, or Aaron’s beard, or common smoke tree, or wig-tree, or chittamwood also known as Cotinus coggygria;

Royal Purple;

Daphne mezereum or daphne balmy Aureomarginata;

Mock orange or syringe, or philadelphus belle etoile;

Pieris beautiful Wakehurst;

Arrowwood or viburnum, or white-rod, or guilder rose, or white hazel tree also known as raisin folded Mariesii.

 

Planting and fertilization

 

The best time for planting shrubs or trees is the period between spring and autumn and in some milder European countries may plant in winter though saplings can get damaged by sudden and prolonged frosts. Ornamental plants and bushes need other fertilizers, than lawn grass requires, so they should be fed separately. Grass requires fertilizers with a high nitrogen level for healthy and beautiful leaves, but for trees and shrubs such fertilizer also stimulates the growth of leaves at the expense of flowers and fruit. They need a balanced fertilizer with equal doses of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, but if they are going to blossom or the fruits are kerning on them a fertilizer should have increased level of potassium. You should put the fertilizer into the ground around the trunk using manure fork and irrigate it properly in a way that water would reach the root zone. Remove all the weeds from the area under the tree or bush.

If a fruit tree is growing on your lawn, You should either leave a wider clear space around the tree trunk or not fertilize the grass around the tree, otherwise you will soon discover that the tree bears much fewer flowers and fruits.

 

Leaves and leaf humus

 

Putrefying leaves emit a lot of heat, so they should be removed from the lawn in autumn, as soon as they fall off. Collect the leaves into compost piles. Leaves will gradually turn into leaf mold – an excellent soil conditioner for a garden. Leaves should be kept in those bags for at least six months, so put them somewhere away. Before storing, you should soak the leaves properly to aid decomposition.

 

How to apply fertilizer using a scatterer

 

Dig a planting pit in the soil about 1,2 meters in diameter. It must be at least four times wider than the diameter of the pot in which the tree grows or a soil clod surrounding the roots. First, remove the greensward and fold it in a stack, and then put the soil dug out from the pit in a wheelbarrow or on a sheet of plastic, not to spoil the lawn. The hole should be about one and a half times deeper than the pot.

If the compost around the roots is completely dry, submerse the pot in a bucket of water to moisten it through. Put some garden compost or any other organic fertilizer (for example, a couple of buckets of good humus manure) at the bottom of the dug pit. Inter-fuse it with the soil using a manure fork. Put some organics in the soil taken from the pit as well, as a tree should be planted not just into the garden soil, but in a moisture well-retentive soil mixture.

If the roots of the tree have completely filled the pot, stir them up a bit. Put the tree or shrub in the center of the pit so that the root clod would be placed at the ground level; add to the bottom some compost-soil mixture, if necessary. Fill the pit with soil and compost, tamping it carefully.

You should prop up trees with pegs for the first two years after planting them unless and until they take root well. Be careful not to damage the roots, hammer a peg into the ground at height of 1-1,2 meters over the soil level and at an angle of 45 ° to the ground, and close enough to the tree to snap it to the trunk. The top of the peg should be directed toward the prevailing wind. You should irrigate the tree or the bush abundantly – at least 2-3 buckets of water.

For any questions related to topics above or any other enquiries, contact our tree surgeons

 

10 Apr 2014

Tree surgery in London

London Gardens

If you live in London or any other large city, your garden might not be huge.  Urban garden spaceOften houses and maisonettes in the inner London area come with a minimalist city garden or just a decked area.  This is one of the reasons why many people tend to go for houses in Zone 3 and 4 that offer that little bit more outdoor space for your money.  North London is a popular choice for reasonably priced properties that come with old established gardens.

Below is a short guide on how to have a great garden in London

If you have an established garden

If you live in London, butt have a lawn, trees and hear the birds sing in the mornings, many will consider you very fortunate.This, however, also means that your garden will require maintenance.  With close proximity of other houses it is always important to make sure your trees and their branches do not pose any risk to neighbouring properties.

Urban garden spaceLondon tree surgeons are used to working with London properties and will be able to advice on the maintenance and safety of the trees in your garden.  If a tree in your garden has become damaged and needs removing, do get in touch with one of the tree surgeons covering your area in London.  Often different parts of the city have different regulations applicable to specific areas. It is a part of the tree surgeon’s job to be aware of the local and national rules and regulations. London tree surgeons will be familiar with the local authorities’ requirements and will know if their permission is required to carry out the work.

If you want to create a garden

Do research online or ask a professional for advice on what kind of plants will work best for your space.  London tree surgeons and garden designers that are familiar with your area will be able to recommend species that will grow well in your type of garden soil.  They will also recommend trees appropriate for the space that you have.  If your garden is not large you do not want to end up with oversized trees and if you only have one tree, you want to choose an evergreen one to enjoy it all the year round.

If you have a city garden

This is normally nothing more than a small decked or concreted area.  Trees in urban gardenWith a bit of work and very little investment a city garden can become a brilliant space for entertaining or simply relaxing with a book.  Just add astro turf and one or two trees to turn an uninviting empty space into a green heaven. Any London tree surgeon will be able to advise you on which tree will not grow more than you need and will be easy to maintain.

If you have no garden

There is an excellent project called Trees for Cities that is striving to make London and other large cities greener and cleaner.  It involves volunteers who are keen on planting trees and making friends and having a great time in the process.  So far Trees for Cities staff and volunteers have planted 600,000 trees and are aiming to hit 1,000,000 by 2020.  If this sound like something you might enjoy, do get in touch as volunteers are always welcome.