Look at our apple trees now!

Remember we planted some sprouted apple seeds nearly five and a half years ago? I can’t believe it’s been over five years!  Anyway, look at them now!  In our last update, three years ago, they were still in pots, but not long after that we planted them in the chickens’ area of the garden where my husband works.  We thought they’d make the chickens’ patch more interesting and give them some shade in the summer.  They grew at different rates, maybe because they’re different types of apples but also because a couple of them have been plagued with ants farming aphids on them.  The little one at the back of the photo (above) was in a really bad way last year because it was smothered in greenfly so I soaked some soapnuts in a bottle of water and doused them liberally with it and this year it’s really bounced back.  Doesn’t seem a very vegan thing to do though does it?  But I want to protect the trees.  This year the ants are still there and the greenfly are back, though not in such great numbers yet.  I was hoping some ladybirds might help out if I left things alone but so far I’ve only seen one so I’m not really sure the best course of action.

Any natural suggestions would be greatly appreciated 🙂

This one is the strongest this year – isn’t it marvellous?  A nice bit of shade for the chicks and, five years in, we’re half way to getting some apples.  Greenfly permitting 😉

Growing your own trees – it’s a rollercoaster of joy and apprehension! ❤

It’s time to look at the apple trees

Remember, way back in February 2014, we planted some apple seeds?

and they grew (well some of them died, but some of them grew)

And we checked in on them in 2015 and again in 2016 and they just kept on growing!

So we planted them outside in the ground.  We thought the chickens might like them for shade when they’re bigger, but while they’re still young we put some wood around them to keep the girls from scratching the earth off their roots.  There’s four in here (I wonder if you’ll be able to spot them all), and two of them are taller than me!  The 8 to 10 years wikihow said we’d have to wait for fruit seemed like a long time, but it’s been 3 years already and time’s just flying 😀

NB this is not my garden 🙂 but luckily we were able to plant them here.  So, if you don’t have anywhere of your own to plant them, look for a suitable spot on public property where they won’t get hacked down by farm machinery and then everyone can enjoy them.  Check out the Scottish Forest Gardener to see how he successfully plants trees on council property 🙂

Plant trees!  You know it makes sense 😉

 

Home Grown Apple Trees – Look at them now!

apple trees from seed

Remember a couple of years ago we started growing apple trees from seed?

FLASH BACK: this is how they looked in February 2014

Well, we’ve kept on with it, sprouting seed after seed, growing seedling after seedling, and we have quite a few in different sized pots around the garden.  Some of them didn’t make it, sadly, but that’s the way it goes, and we just keep on going.  (I say ‘we’ but really it’s Miranda who does all the work.  I help with watering 😉 )

apple trees from seed

If you look over here you will see what our oldest ones looked like a year ago – nice strong, woody stems, but still tiny.

But now the tallest one is about four feet tall!  I’ve photographed it next to a garden chair to give you some idea of scale:

apple trees grown from seed

How fantastic is that?!!!

It seems like no time since we sprouted those first seeds.

We have planted a few in the wild and intend to keep doing that, inconspicuously near public footpaths, in the hope of providing free food for the future, but most of them are still in pots for now.

apple trees from seed

We love our little trees 😀

If you want to do this yourself, go to the original post to see how 🙂

Plant trees, Save the beavers and Prevent flooding! PETITION

beaver

THE PETITION STATES:

Britain has been struck by a succession of Atlantic storms accompanied by very heavy rain. In early December Storm Desmond saw 5,000 people flooded out of their homes in Carlisle in spite of £38 million of flood defences recently installed by the Environment Agency. More recently, Storm Frank has caused similar havoc in the Southwest, Lancashire, Yorkshire, the Scottish borders and Northern Ireland.

We demand that a major national tree planting effort is implemented, to build our national resilience to future flood events, and that the shooting of beavers is halted immediately!

The key to reducing the risk of more floods is to realise that conventional ‘flood defence’ can never provide security against the ever more extreme weather events that global warming will bring. The storm waters must be held back into the moors, bogs, fields and headwaters, so that they are given the chance to replenish soils and aquifers, and are released only slowly into the main streams and rivers.

We need more trees: it’s no secret that just having trees in the landscape helps rainwater to infiltrate into soils.

Sign the petition for tree planting to prevent floods!

Next, beavers: trees are food for beavers, and beavers use them to build their dams. And that’s absolutely key to restoring landscapes and making them water retentive. We should select water–loving tree species that are palatable to beavers — like poplars, willows, sallows and alders — and establish them along watercourses, ditches, streams, ponds and eroded upland gullies.

Sign the petition for beaver–friendly tree planting, to encourage the return of beavers across the UK!

Unfortunately, beavers are actually being shot in Scotland. Scotland needs its beavers as much as England does – and for exactly the same reasons.

Sign the petition to stop beavers being killed in Scotland!

By:  Oliver Tickell

Editor of The Ecologist

To:  DEFRA