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Gardening tips from Rod Hill

Corfe Mullen Gardening Club January/February 2016

Well, we are into the New Year and our grass is very much water logged. We are not supposed to walk over it but I have to and so does our Greyhound Annie. I know the best scenario but in practice that cannot happen in our garden. When the time and weather is right I will deal with the lawns and paths.

Back in November Six Leylandii trees at the back of our garden were taken down, this means in the summer our garden will have a lot more sunshine. This is a good time to prune any trees especially when all the leaves are off and you are as it were, looking at the bare bones.

With some trees you may have to ask yourself the question, “Who is in control? “ Am I in control of the tree or shrub? Or, is the tree or shrub in control of me. If this is the case, then you may have to do a drastic prune to get things into shape and under control, or, turn to a professional tree surgeon

When it comes to Apple trees, it may be out of shape and it will be a job to remove some of the centre branches to let in more daylight. Cut out branches that cross over, branches that rub others, and branches that are growing in a direction that doesn’t suit the shape of the tree. As a rule of thumb pruning down to an outward facing bud is the best, but, there may be an occasion when you want to hide something or block something and pruning to another bud may be the best..

We have two very old Acer trees that produce variegated yellowy green leaves, sometimes I notice a small branch growing with dark green leaves during the summer, when I see this it is time to get the loppers and cut them off as near to the main trunk as possible.  Most variegated shrubs have been grafted to a root stock. This is very noticeable with Euonymus the small leafy shrub. If you notice dark green leaves instead of yellow, put your hand inside the shrub and follow the thin branch down to where it joins another thick stem and cut it out. Restoring it back to its colour and shape may take more than a year.

I hope you will be able to keep yourself and your garden in good shape this year.

From Rodders,  the retired gardener.

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