Ground preparation for your woodlandAndrew Staib2020-07-30T11:47:47+01:00
Ground preparation for your woodland
Glorious Woodlands will ensure good ground preparation of your site to allow trees the soil and nutrients they need.
Trees need suitable soil, water, light and nutrients to grow so good ground preparation is necessary to increase the success of planting as well as to reduce the maintenance and replacement later. The ground can be prepared to improve soil drainage and structure as well as decreasing the competition for light, water and nutrients from other plants.
Glorious Woodlands will oversee the ground preparation. There are different ways to prepare the site for planting. Mowing a wavy row or spot strimming is better than cutting the whole site in preparation for planting.
Spot spraying with herbicide before planting is an alternative to grass cutting. This removes all competition for light, nutrients and water and makes planting easier.
If Glorious Woodlands is planting your new woodland on a former pasture, it’s best to leave the grass sward undisturbed. Instead, we will use mulches or herbicide after planting to create a grass-free zone around each tree. This weed-free zone is important for the success of trees. If the whole sward is ploughed or treated with herbicide before planting, there is likely to be strong growth of weeds which is difficult to manage.
Ripping is where densely compacted soils are broken up by pulling a deep tine across the area. However, this can break up land drains and unearth services. To help this process, a dense grass sward can be mowed prior to planting.
In the early season, Glorious Woodlands will make sure a herbicide spray is used around the trees to reduce competition.
Establishing trees in areas of bracken, laurel or rhododendron is more difficult due to the noxious chemicals they leave in the soil. In this situation, Glorious Woodlands will re-seed the area with a low vigour grass mix and leave it to establish before planting.
Clay soils make establishing trees more difficult because clay soils become waterlogged in winter and dry out in summer. Most tree species’ roots require air in the soil and will die in waterlogged, anaerobic conditions. For example, loamy soils have bigger gaps between the particles which make water more easily available to plants.
For large-scale tree planting on clay soil, Glorious Woodlands will arrange mechanical cultivation of the whole site. For small-scale projects, mechanical cultivation is not always necessary. Instead, Glorious Woodlands will plant trees that are tolerant of wet sites, such as willow (Salix) and alder (Alnus). Also we can increase the range of species grown by improving drainage. This can be achieved by digging drainage ditches, the ditches will be aligned to take water slowly off the site.