Daredevil Epicormic Trimming

Anyone for an Epicormic trim?

Genuine intrepid daredevils. There really is no other way to describe tree surgeons, particularly for someone who finds scaling a common step ladder, rather daunting. In my defense, I am 6ft3 tall…

Months of planning, including the submission and approval of required planning permission process, had finally come to fruition. Friday the 18th of March, saw the long anticipated arrival of A.G.U. Treecraft, our tree surgeons. The lengthy laundry list of required jobs, meant that they came with a team of four, and oodles of terribly exciting looking machinery. One of which, a strapping shredder, probably most highly anticipated by yours truly. You see, the kitchen garden and fruit cage are in dire need for some bark/chippings for the paths. It was near to impossible, not to get excited about seeing, the ever mounting, pile of home-made chippings, take form.

There is certainly much satisfaction to be gained, from knowing that much needed work is being professionally done, whilst we just stand and watch. It is probably accurate to deduce, that most of us gardeners work terribly hard to make those borders bloom and/or to ensure that kitchen gardens provide copious amounts of delicious produce. Without hard work, none of that will ever happen. How refreshing therefore, to see so much good work, being completed without, even one finger being lifted on our part.

Sickly trees were felled, stumps were removed and where so required special trimming and/or thinning of branches. Apart from the fact that the garden, and specified trees, needed the work done, this particular company reinstated my confidence in outsourcing. So often, companies or individuals are hired to do specific jobs, but one is left with (below) average work and sometimes even consequent damage. A.G.U. Treecraft were quite incredible. Not just professional and knowing their craft, but such care was taken, to ensure that their work did not impair the garden. Despite worries, the actual tree felling, did not damage surrounding plants in the garden; the heavy machinery was carefully handled without harming borders, plants, or even the lawn. All that needed to be felled, came down gradually and securely. Consequently, chopped up into practical sized logs, branches shredded, twigs swept up and even the remaining saw dust, blown away. It was just a pleasure to ‘work’ with them, and the garden looks so much the better for it.

Don't look down...
Before Epicormic Trim
After Epicormic Trim
Strump grinding
Shred shred shredding
Daredevil Epicormic Trimming
Daredevil Epicormic Trimming
Kitchen Garden March 2011

One of the more impressive tree care tasks, was the Epicormic Trimming of the Lime tree. This enormous, but incredibly handsome tree, is crucial to the garden and yet in much need of care and attention. The garden has altered over the years, where the boundary of field-to-garden changed. Many years ago, this tree was part of the field, and thereby at the mercy of a varied range of greedy grazers. One can only assume, that those grazers enjoyed the odd nibble of the, then young, Lime. Consequently, the tree developed numerous suckering shoots, growing profusely in its crown.

Over the years, a dense matting of twigs developed, putting the tree at risk from damage and rot. The official term is Epicormic growth; defined as those shoots (or suckers) arising from activated buds situated (as in our case) on the main stem, at the base of the crown. It also commonly appears on lower end of the tree trunk. Removal is cumbersome, time consuming and entails ample courage.

Just as it was for A.G.U. Treecraft, we look for specialised craftsmen in the local village magazine. Too often, these local media are overlooked and many have sadly perished. Granted, many do look prehistoric and could do with an acute face lift, but they still represent an invaluable information source. One can only recommend similar craftsmen, nurseries and alike, to use these local tools to appeal to their market. For those of you looking to flog us something interesting, do advertise it in the local/village media. We will be looking!

And as for the resultant mountain of lovely home-made chippings? No time to settle, but immediately wheeled out in droves. Just as outlined in the plans for the 2011 Kitchen Garden, the paths are now ready and waiting. All we need now is the vegetables….