Wherever appropriate we plant new trees.
On the edge of woodlands these form natural boundary hedges and with careful management in the future will add to the diversity of the woodlands as a whole. Trees can be planted and replanted at virtually any stags of their development, from the seedling stage through to semi-mature trees. Each stage requires differing amounts of care and protection.
In order to minimise the after-care and to guarantee the maximum success rate, we plant what are known as ‘whips‘. A whip is an unbranched young tree seedling approximately 0.5-1.0 m (1 ft 7 in-3 ft 3 in) in height and 2–3 years old They will have been grown specifically for planting out.
Slit-planting whips is a labour-saving method that works for only the most resilient of plants, but it saves hours of hole digging. One simply pushes the spade into the ground to its blade’s depth, opens the hole by leaning on the spade – then slips the bare-root plant in to the depth at which it had been growing in the nursery. Then one removes the spade and pushes the slit closed with one’s foot.
A young plant may also be vulnerable to attack from animals, so all woody plants should be given rabbit guards to prevent ring-barking.