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


30 January 2014

Fighting with giants!

Chris and his friend Kyle have been making brilliant progress topping out a row of Cuprocyparis Leylandii.  Both lads are, needless to say, very experienced and expert in their field and have all the tree surgery/chainsawing qualifications meaning that they are happiest swinging around treetops in harnesses.  This row of 38 non-native conifers are 60 feet plus and in the years we have lived here have grown into giants.  Many have numerous leaders so it's far more work that cutting down a single trunk and then moving on to the next tree.  Just to add to their difficulties; Kyle has to ensure that falling timber doesn't damage the neighbouring apple trees or their surrounding fence which is virtually beneath the conifers!  To succeed, they have to top them out in short sections - making even more work!  They don't look so big from a distant 1st floor window but down on the ground and up close, it's a whole different ball game as their sheer enormity is realised!

In our climate, this variety typically grows 3 feet in a single year and we are super lucky to have such amazingly understanding neighbours.  We will regain our view of Hillside and be able to see longer sunsets, particularly at this time of year when the sun is so low in the sky and in any case, sets behind the conifers.  (We also have - not so secret plans to build a little retreat at the back of the Woodland Border with some of the timber.)  The laneside hedge will have more light, the apple trees will have twice as much sunlight and maintenance at their reduced height will much easier so,  it's a win win situation!

These villians of the tree world suck up all the nutrients and water from the soil will beak through tarmac and damage foundations so it's both shocking and very worrying to see how growers of these non-native thugs promote their sale as fast growing hedges.  Who in their right mind wants an 80 foot hedge?

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