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Frequently Asked Questions

As growers and suppliers of trees and shrubs of varying shapes and sizes, we are regularly asked for advice on the correct planting methods for our products and follow up maintenance. Bearing this in mind this year we have endeavoured to put together a small Question and Answer session based on the questions we are most frequently asked. We hope you will find this useful.

Q. What is Chalara Fraxinea and how will it effect my planting scheme?

A. Chalara Fraxinea is a fungus, which causes Ash Die Back Disease. It is not yet prevalent in the UK, However, it has been found in imported stock throughout England in the last few seasons and poses the greatest risk to our native Ash tree stocks. Fraxinus Excelsior is the main victim but other Ash varieties such as Fraxinus Ornus, Fraxinus Angustifolia and Fraxinus Pendula have also been found to be susceptible to the disease. The symptoms are wilting and black brown discoloring at the base of leaves and midrib. Dieback of shoots and twigs and bark necrosis are also symptoms in more advanced cases. Generally stock of 2 to 10 years old is more susceptible to the disease, but infection of more mature trees is not yet disproven. So vigilance is advised with regards to all Ash stocks including tohse already planted in previous years.

We recommend that if you must plant Ash that you ensure the stock is from a reputable source from UK grown stocks. Importation of stock is not recommended whilst measures are being undertaken to control this disease. It is worth remembering that even if your stock is clean at time of planting the infection is thought to be airborne, so it may still succumb to the disease at a later date.

Further information on Chalara Fraxinea and Ash Die Back Disease can be found on the Forestry Commission website at www.forestry.gov.uk/ashdieback. If you have any concerns contact your nearest Forestry Commission office.

 Q. What is Sudden Oak Death and what species can it effect?

A. Most of us have heard of Sudden Oak Death or to give it its official name Phytophthora Ramorum. As the name implies it does affect our native Oaks, however it does not just pose a risk to that species, but other tee hosts such as Beech, Southern Beech, Horse Chestnut, Sycamore, Ash, Western Hemlock, Douglas Fir, Birch species, Eucalyptus species, Magnolia, Sitka Spruce and Larch. Shrub species also known to be at risk or hosts to the disease are Rhododendron, Viburnum, Camellia and pieris. Until 2009 the most affected species in the UK had been Beech, this has subsequently been overtaken by Japanese Larch, which saw the destruction of large plantations of Japanese Larch grown commercially for the timber industry throughout the United Kingdom.

Species such as Larch and Rhododendron produce the spores that spread the disease, so effective and swift identification followed by destruction of the hosts is necessary. Any areas affected should not replant with known susceptible species to avoid chance of re-infection.

Symptoms vary between trees and shrubs. Trees symptoms include lesions on the bark known as bleeding cankers, where fluid exudes from the lesions drying to a black crust. When the lesions become extensive on the trunk then the tree dies. On Larch the needles wilt, blacken and drop pematurely, whilst the branches and upper trunk suffers the same lesions as above. Shrubs or ‘foliar hosts’ do not always die but leaf blackening, wilted shoots and branch dieback do occour. If in doubt ask for advice from the nearest Forestry Commission office or your local DEFRA plant health inspector.

Q. What method do you recommend for planting forestry transplants ?

A. By far the easiest and most effective method is to make a ‘T’ cut incision in the pre-prepared ground using a spade, with the leg of the ‘T’ cut facing towards the predominant wind direction. Place the plant into the top of the ‘T’ with the main roots down the leg of the ‘T’. This will help them stand up against the wind. You must only plant the seedling as deep as the top root, if you plant any deeper than this the plants cambium layer will rot in the ground and the plant will die. We recommend each plant to be caned and guarded against animal attack. Please ensure you water regularly.

Q. How should I correctly support a tree to ensure its future growth ?

A. Bare root trees can be supported by one stake with a buckle tree tie around. Trees supplied as a rootball or potted should be supported by two stakes (placed either side of the rootball) with a crossbar between, and either two tree ties to secure to the crossbar or strapping and tie. these larger trees also require a tree cushion to prevent the tree from hitting its supports and damaging the tree. In most cases please ensure the stakes are placed on the side of the prevailing wind, so that the tree is not blown onto them. Stakes, Ties and associated items are available from stock, please ask for further details.

Q. How often should I water my trees once they have been planted ?

A. In weather condition such as we have experienced in the Spring / Summer of 2003 i.e., hot little or no rain at all, our trees have had an insatiable need for water. A newly planted tree of broom handle girth (8/10) needs approximately 8 gallons of water a day to survive in this weather. Methods of ensuring your trees are watered or retain moisture are installing a hose watering timer, direct root watering systems and incorporating a water retentive agent into the tree pit prior to planting. All of these are available from our stocks, please ask for details. Alternatively visit our watering and irrigation supplies section.

Q. I want to ensure I am planting quality grown stock, How do I know ?

A. WeeTree has been working closely with the Forestry Commission to ensure compliance with EU legislation regarding Provenance of stock. We are able to supply Certificates of Provenance for UK grown stocks and also are regularly inspected by DEFRA to ensure compliance with Plant Passport standards.

Q. My tree looks as though it is dying. The leaves have curled up and gone crispy, will it recover ?

A. There are many possible causes but with a newly planted tree it has most likely not been watered enough. Although nature is very good at re-establishing trees they do need a helping hand especially with our current cimate. The use of Swell Gel and Mycorrhiza can help the plant no end and regular watering. Please bear in mind it was alive when planted. If in doubt please discuss watering needs with us.

Q. How long should I leave planting my hedge after spraying off for weeds ?

A. Most important read the instructions on the label of the weed killer you are using. If you have used an ‘instant’ contact weed killer, just allow the weeds to wither for a few days. If you have used a systemic weed killer then allow up to 4 weeks.


Any further Questions

email us at :- info@weetree.co.uk
or phone at :- 01823 667338 we are always pleased to help.