Friday, 31 August 2012

A few more for Hugh

A few more drawings completed for Hugh on topping trees and the root pruning one is finished. These diagrams are for a scientific journal, and so need to be more sciencey than arty... hence why they don't look too pretty!
 Root pruning

Root pruning - something we need to do if the roots have been crushed or damaged by pollution, trenching, compaction or changes in soil level. This treatment probably wouldn't have been used much in the past, but in the last century trees - especially urban ones - have been damaged a lot by trenching to put in cables and drains. You know if a tree's roots have been damaged if it's leaves start to go yellow after local disturbance, or if the tips of the branches become bare of leaves. I noticed when at the Olympic Park at the start of the month that many of the new trees they had planted from Hillers looked very stressed in this way. I am guessing that it was related to their root systems being damaged upon transplantation. This is why it is so important to water newly planted trees regularly during the dry months of the first year of being in their new home.

Topping trees is a BIG no-no. It really damages them. They can get rot in the heart wood and a tree's response to having their tops cut off is to grow lots of week branches from the callus. These wispy branches with poor attachment to the main body can actually be quite dangerous. If a tree is too big you can use some of the other methods I have illustrated - crown lift, crown thinning or crown reduction, or you can do what Hugh is currently writing about (I'll blog on this as soon as I have done the piccies).  

Caroline, my coffee tree has been moved outside today because it is lovely and sunny! Now we are fast approaching the autumn equinox she's starting to struggle with the lack of light in my north facing room. I am not sure what to do other than move. Caroline used to live in the sitting room, but my landlady has transformed our old south facing sitting room into an en suite bedroom this summer and so Caroline was evicted. She was quite happy in my room this summer and she is still growing her coffee bean, but I can sense a recent struggle as her leaves reach for light. We all know what that's like (especially us Brits)! So I am starting to think it might be time for a new home.Will keep you posted.


  1. Fantastic synopsis! :)

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