Over the past month an awful lot of work has been done at the Arboretum. Our work to open up planting areas and thin the collection continues. We have just removed five large birch trees from around the barn. In this process we have opened up a young Metasequoia glyptostroboides and Pinus heldreichii, and the removal of Rhododendron from around the base of these trees also really shows them off. To do this we had the help of the Botanic Garden’s enthusiastic trainees, Tonia and Virginia who really got stuck in. This was a good opportunity to get them using the chipper and also a chance for them to see some tree felling. Whilst working in this area we have also created a new path leading up to the barn allowing easier access from the all-weather path.
Metasequoia glyptostroboides in newly cleared area
Another task that is being undertaken is the continuing classification of the trees in the collection. To do this we are working with the curator of the University Herbarium Dr Stephen Harris. Over the last year we have gone through most of the collection looking for flowers and cones to find out exactly which species we have in the collection. This time of year there are few cones and flowers so it gave us a chance to start working through the specimens to verify them and to make sure that their accession labels are correct.
It has also been a very wet month; this affects the ability to move machinery around the site without causing damage to the land. This not only gives us a chance to keep up to date on machinery maintenance, it has also meant that we have had a chance to modify the tractor shed and install an airline system. This means that in the future we have the right tools in place to carry out the correct maintenance to machinery.
New path near the Woodland Barn