A large part of my new (when do I stop referring to it as ‘new’?) role working for London Stone is uniting our industry, bringing together soft and hard landscaping closer together, unifying what we all do and upskilling ourselves in the process. The two sides go hand in hand; as every garden undoubtedly has elements of both.
On Friday 9th March, we held our inaugural, Landscaper Development day at Majestic Trees, the first of 8 days we will be running throughout 2018, each day specifically tailored towards a certain aspect of horticulture and soft landscaping, giving landscapers and designers alike the opportunity to develop their skills base in order to create and build better gardens.
The days aim was to cover everything you need to know about using trees in domestic gardens, from specifying to planting and everything in-between. Meat-and-drink for us horticulturists!
Award-winning garden designer and graduate-with-distinction from London College of Garden Design, John Ward, opened the day with an insightful talk into designing with trees. From specifying the right tree for the right place, to getting stuck in with unloading deliveries. John highlighted the importance of getting to know the tree, how it grows, where it grows, the size it will grow to, and what conditions it needs to thrive. Essential when it comes to planning and designing any garden!
This was followed by a practical demonstration, where Steve McCurdy, owner and MD of Majestic Trees, and his team expertly showed us how to skilfully move trees when they arrive on site. Using a combination of physics and common sense (you’d be surprised!), you can avoid causing stress and damage to the tree when unloading it and moving it around. Such love, care, and attention has gone into producing the tree, it would be a crime to damage the tree at the final hurdle. I have seen so many trees moved incorrectly, with forks in the root ball, and ripped bark, I believe that this kind of treatment should be illegal!
The trees are carefully wrapped and loaded onto specialist vehicles prior to delivery, having been grown in a spring ring container to maximise root growth, this is then removed and replaced with a hessian cloth, and wrapped in wire. The specimens can then be left on when planted and the roots will simply just grow through.
Steve then led us around the 20 acre nursery, looking at how different trees require different growing conditions, and are looked after individually. This was then followed with an informative talk on past experiences in tree planting, and how preparation is key to everything when it comes to planting specimen trees. Including some rather amusing examples of how you have to get creative when problems arise – why did that Rolling Stone chose to live on such a tiny-but-busy road?
To conclude the day, tree anchoring specialists Plaitpus gave a demonstration on staking the tree once it’s in the ground; highlighting the many different ways in which you can successfully stake a tree, depending on the situation and tree itself. The last thing you want is your multi-thousand-pound tree blowing over in a storm. The Platipus team showed us projects from all corners of the globe; truly impressive stuff!
We are proud that the day was not only a fantastic, educational and fun day with many like minded professionals, but we also managed to raise £310 for our industry’s charity, Perennial GRBS, in the process. Together, we are one industry united. Many thanks to everyone that helped make this day a fantastic event, and we cannot wait for the next one!
If you are interested in booking onto any of our upcoming development days, please do get in touch and email myself directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.