The green and rolling countryside of Worcestershire, England, is home to the cider apple orchards which surround the gardens of Pear Tree Cottage. They enjoy a sunny south westerly aspect with sweeping views across to Martley Hillside, Woodbury and Abberley clock tower. The Teme Valley lies just over the hill and, not far away, is the Herefordshire border. Although our climate is temperate, our seasons are often uncertain and always a challenge to a gardener! This began in 2010 & follows the weekly ups and downs of garden work chronicling both successes and failures but, above all, demonstrates the fun enjoyed by three people who regularly garden in all weathers


31 July 2011

The making of the ghost pine

With massive overcrowding and equally massive root damage to the lawn, we found a solution without losing the tree entirely.  It was hardly a suitable specimen tree for a garden - just a scraggy old pine with long roots coming up through the turf becoming worse each season.  The dying grass and the lawn mower damage to the roots combined with the fact that top branches were growing into the Liriodenrdron Tulipifera tree on one side, an Acer Griseum on the other and an ancient Pear at the back.  Close by also is a Cornus and 2 Magnolias.  The poor scraggy old pine had to go!

Overcrowded planting
Bark removal

Lawn damage

We started off at the top, taking out and lowering branches.  Having cut the ends off the branches shortest at the top we then stripped of the bark and pine being pine; this was the world's stickiest job!  Just how sticky is resinous sap?   It got to the stage that we couldn't put down the heavy tools we picked up but the scent of the pine resin was out of this world!  Anyway, we ended up with this rather ghostly looking pine!  We'll let it dry out and decide what to do next.  It does seem an awfully cruel and slow death for a tree as it slowly loses it life's resinous sap.  Anyway, we get to keep it for a while.

We might spray paint it, we might plant an evergreen up it, we might put fairy lights around it or just hang it with lanterns or even coloured glass wasp traps  - quite a few possibilities!  We know that it won't last forever and that it will  eventually rot.  In the meantime it looks quite unusual when uplit at night - if not a little stark surrounded by greenery by day! 

Naked & dying pine!

 (In case you're wondering, the clematis at the bottom is actually called Mrs Thompson!)

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