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Sidmouth Arboretum

Caring for the trees of the Sid Valley

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Tips for April and May

After the cold, wet weather at the end of February, any new planting in March will have had a set back, so check the stakes and ties on trees, and check shrubs for wind rock when the gales of March, if they arrive, have shaken the roots of the shrub. It is usually sufficient to firm the soil with your boot.

Hedges can be shaped and made bushier by taking secateurs to the middle twigs, this should encourage new shoots to fill the middle of a hedge. Late flowering shrubs such as buddleia and hydrangea can be pruned back, hard in the case of buddleia and for hydrangea take out a few of the older stems to ground level and prune back the tips to a strong pair of buds to keep a tidy shape.

The excitement of spring is blossom: apples and pears should lighten our days, and of course hawthorn will blossom in May. To get the best from your fruit trees check out Thornhayes Nursery
for pruning guide lines and local courses and for planning your autumn planting now!
Diana East


Countryfile 02 Apr 2017
Countryfile 02 Apr 2017

Building on the routing of the Sidmouth arboretum town walk through Sidholme, we were able to secure the use of Sidholme's grounds and the music room to set up a tree identification challenge for the children of year 5 at Sidmouth School. Ed Dolphin our treasurer designed the task, which posed a series of yes/ no questions to the children enabling them to identify 8 trees. The weather was lovely and the walk to and from the school gave us a further opportunity to discuss other trees along the route. All in all this was a very successful day for which many thanks to the staff of Sidholme who made us so welcome.

We have been doing more work in Sidholme and have identified 24 species of trees that we hope to make into a leaflet for the site alone. This is being done in conjunction with the The Friends of Sidholme Garden and Sidmouth in Bloom.    Tree identification achieved excellent results and the event is likely to be repeated next spring.

Diana East

We need to plant more trees.

Countryfile 02 Apr 2017
Countryfile 02 Apr 2017
BBC Countryfile devoted much of its episode on Sunday 2nd April to the state of commercial forestry.  The general trend of the coverage was that the UK needs to be planting far more trees than we have in the last few years.  If you missed it then you catch up on the BBC iPlayer.
Ed Dolphin

'Step change' needed to create more woodland

A parliamentary report shows (see BBC report) that planting woodland is not happening fast enough to meet the target of 12% woodland cover 2060.
Jon Ball
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