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Plant an Oak for the next generation

by User Not Found | Oct 28, 2014

Last week I bought an Oak tree called Quercus palustris or Pin Oak. What attracted me was the stunning autumn colour. Its leaves are very deeply cut with pointed tips that are bright red at the moment, though are green in summer. It will be a very handsome tree growing up to 20m high. Apparently they come from eastern United States and they love damp soils and can tolerate flooding for short periods. They are classed as short lived for Oaks as they only live for up to 120 years (long enough for me!), Irish Oak can live for several centuries.

I am lucky enough to own a few acres of woodland and among its inhabitants are several, huge sized Irish Oak. These are the giants in the wood and one has a trunk circumference of 12 feet. My father said they were big when he was a lad so they must be upwards of 120 years and still growing! My trees must have been planted rather than naturally seeded as they are in a straight line. This fact got me thinking about who it was that planted them and what would they think if they saw them now? If every generation would plant a few trees in a suitable place (don’t plant an oak in a small town garden!) we would have a much more handsome countryside to look at, with more homes for our wildlife. Also we would have a renewable fuel source for our fires.

With winter approaching the trees are dropping their leaves and nature is going asleep this makes autumn a great time to plant trees. Trees that are “bare rooted” are grown in a nursery field and are dug up and sold without pots. This makes them cheaper than buying a potted plant. The rain over the winter will settle the soil in around their roots and in spring they won’t even know they were moved! A potted tree can be planted at any time of year as their roots are intact. If planted in late spring or summer they will probably need watering during dry spells until they are rooted into the surrounding soil.Choose a tree that suits your garden size. If you have a large garden you can grow larger sized trees. I often think it a pity to see a dwarf tree in a half acre garden as they never make a big impact. The same tree in a small garden would look fine as it is in proportion with its surroundings.

In the coming weeks we can tell you about upcoming events and promotions and talk about some of the varieties of trees available for different situations in your garden.

Malachy's Bio
I have been gardening since I was 5 years old when my mother gave me a part of our garden as my own. I have studied horticulture in the National Botanical Gardens in Glasnevin and was a winner in the young horticulturist of the year competition. I have worked in Several plant nurseries and garden centers such as Mount Congreve in Co. Waterford. My special interests are plant propagation and Cacti!