As part of Great Big Green Week, Three Counties Church green team helped COPSE with our orchard care at the recently planted Lion Green Orchard. The trees were weeded and watered, with a bramble area to the rear of the orchard cut and collected, to reduce the vigor of brambles and nettles. Yellow rattle was in flower and starting to establish and all of the trees looked healthy despite the recent lack of rain and a recent infestation of greenfly curling the apple tree leaves. There are at least three Eco-Churches in Haslemere Town all doing their bit for nature.
June quickly became a dry month with no rainfall in the south-east during the first two weeks, putting our newly planted fruit and hedge trees at risk, despite a wetter than usual spring. So, we spent much of the month watering young trees. While visiting an orchard we planted in Wrecclesham, we found trees that had been mulched were fairing much better than those without mulch, with leaves becoming brown on un-mulched saplings.
We also installed watering posters, supplied by the Arboricultural Association, providing guidance on watering and requesting for local residents to help with the watering during dry spells.
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Gareth is an ecologist interested in conserving traditional orchards and heritage fruit, for people and wildlife.