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How To Stake And Strap A Tree

Following the pictures above…..

  • tree stake at the ready… place the stake [generally] 3 fingers width from the base of the tree and 2 fingers width from the top. Once you have your position correct… push it in slightly.
  • A tree stake pounder [the yellow object in the photographs] is preferable although you can use a sledge hammer. I find the sledge more often splits the stake and its also not very nice for Mary if she is the one holding it and you miss 😉
  • Drive your stake in until it’s sturdy, whilst along the way making sure its straight as it goes down.
  • There are many forms of straps and buckles available… but for my garden I generally but a roll of strap and cut to size. Always allow a little extra if you are unsure you can always cut a little bit off the end – you can’t however add a little bit on.
  • Wrap your strap around the tree and add the buckle on. Then pull really tight against the tree…. wrap one side around the stake and then double over the first piece.
  • With the tree now sturdy against the stake and the strap not moving…. get Mary [or someone else 😉 ] to lean agains the back of the stake and hammer a nail in. Always leave a little off the nail sticking out so it can be removed if you get it wrong or it needs to be adjusted in time as the tree grows. Be sure not to tie the tree too tight.
  • If you are doing trees in straight lines and you wish for them all to look nice and neat…. take a cane as an optimum measure of height, mark the tree stake and saw off at an angle.
  • A little tidy around the base and go and grab yourself a cuppa 🙂
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Moving A Tree

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The weather outside for the last few months as long as I can remember now has been a disaster being quite frank.

The funny thing about horticulture however is that life simply goes on. And when one misses out on a time frame of the season….. one often has to wait until the following year to get that task done.

There is no greater seasonal example of this than trees.

About two years ago I planted about 140 trees in my garden. A few failed for various mechanical reasons… but some where planted just for the moment. They were always gonna have to be moved… this January was the time to do so.

Trees go dormant over winter. They lose their leaves. They go asleep for a few months [wouldn’t we all like that… 😉 ] and come the rise in temperature is when they must awaken. So how many weeks do you have left to plant bare root and root ball trees or to move them….. ? As long as its cold outside is the short answer.To the point…..

You have a tree you want moved….

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The first question should you wish to do it yourself is could you lift this tree. If the answer is yes then proceed.

Remember if you lifted all of Dublin up and placed it in…. lets say Scotland [for the craic] would your tree be disturbed in its movement…. no. With that in mind dig as great a hole as you can around the base of the tree without disturbing the roots and then go under.

With a plastic bag – bark mulch bags split are usually quite durable lift the tree in one swift move from the hole onto the bag.

With your second hole already prepared…. drag the bag [ 😉 ] rather than the tree to its new location.

After this the preparations are the very same to planting a tree. Go do it… hurry… you’ve not long left.

The Ladybird

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Coccinellidae or ladybirds as we know them are members of the beetle family, generally red with black spots head and antennae and can be anything up to almost half an inch in size. But with over 5,000 species they can also be any colour from yellow to black. The less prettier and often referred to a the mealybug Ladybird cryptolaemus montrouzieri should not be confused with the Coccinella septempunctata or what I should refer to as the common ladybird

The ladybird is most famed in horticultural terms for being predators or the boilogical control of the aphid [whitefly or greenfly] and they really are a gardeners friend. That said if you spoke to my niece Lilly… they are most famed to her because she had a pet ladybird once…. but it ‘flew away‘ 😉

Ladybirds and other garden predators are/ can usually be encouraged easily by having areas of undisturbed ground and also by the introduction of attractive flowers.

I spotted this guy above just sitting pretty whilst clipping some crataegus in the garden yesterday…. 😉



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2009 A Good Year ….?

I did do a review of the year 2008. But it’s onwards and upward and whilst we head into 2010… here’s a look back on the last 12 months of 2009.

*If I missed or forgot something or someone – just hollar and I will ammend as soon as possible 😉

  • December was kicked off with the Carbon Neutral Revolution and Trim 2025

Whilst I flicked through my diary and realised just how much I actually had done… it should be noted that none of this would make any sense without someone to share the stories, the laughter and equally the tears with. I am forever greatful to the so many great friends and people I have met along this years road. Thank you. 🙂

Did I enjoy it? Every second. Don’t get me wrong… no road is an easy an easy one especially when I work in an industry that is so weather dependant and I am self employed. That is not a complaint…. more an additional reason to appreciate the people who stand tall by my side when time are tougher and there too when we laugh our socks off.

Go raibh míle maith agaibh. Nollaig Shona duit. Slán agus beannacht.

Thank you again, for everything.

*View the statistics for Peter Donegan Landscaping Weblog

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Quiz Mistress Powers and The Irish gardeners

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Last week I gave you the Irish Times, Jane Powers super dooper Christmas quiz.

If you didn’t see it….? Just click this Irish Times Jane Powers Quiz link. Because this Saturday it will return again.

Reckon you can pit your wits against the finest in the land… Go buy a copy of The Irish Times tomorrow – it appears in the magazine section.

If you did try the quiz…. and you would like the answers…. Jane very kindly emailed me them.;) Take a look and see how you got on….

Thanks Jane!

ANSWERS:

1. Beech keeps its dead leaves over winter.

2. Mistletoe is a parasite of trees.

3. Spiders are not vegetarians.

4. Narcissus was the young man in Greek mythology who spent much time gazing at his reflection in a pool.

5. The highest box hedges in the world are at Birr Castle in Co Offaly.

6. Carrots are propagated by seed.

7. The rabbit-eared flower is lavender (Lavandula).

8. False. Fresh grass clippings are high in nitrogen, not carbon.

9. An awn is found on the flowering parts of members of the grass family.

10. Arran Victory, Edzell Blue and Congo potatoes have dark, blue-toned skins.

11. Sarcococca is commonly known as “Christmas box”.

12. 2008 was the United Nation’s Year of the Potato.

13. An “eyecatcher” is an architectural feature on a distant hill.

14. The petals of buttercups are not edible.

15. Pomes and drupes are both fruits.

16. The garden with the Italianate pond is Ilnacullin, Garinish Island, Glengarriff.

17. The flower of the dragon arum (Dracunculus vulgaris) smells like carrion.

18. It smells like this in order to attract pollinating insects.

19. Sambucus nigra ‘Eva’, Ranunculus ficaria ‘Brazen Hussy’ and Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’ all have “black” foliage.

20. In A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Ebenezer Scrooge’s suggested stake is made of holly.

21. Vine weevil larvae consume the roots and underground parts of plants.

22. A fruit cage is an enclosure to protect berrying plants from birds.

23. The botanical epithet “bonariensis” means “of Buenos Aires”.

24. Cornus, Nepeta, Equisetum and Arisarum proboscideum all refer to animals: dogwood, catmint, horsetail and mouse plant.

25. The spiny flower is teasel.

26. The words “holly” and “mistletoe” combine to make the anagram “little me, so holy”.

27. To “harden off” a plant is to gradually expose it to colder outdoor temperatures.

28. Tom Stuart-Smith designed the “Best Show Garden” at Chelsea Flower Show 2008.

29. A pedicel is a flower stalk.

30. Potatoes are propagated asexually.

31. The Latin epithet “alpina” means that the plant is an alpine, growing high on a mountain, above the tree line.

32. Raceme, corymb, panicle and spike refer to the inflorescence (the flowering part) of a plant.

33. The common name for Euphorbia pulcherrima is poinsettia.

34. “I think that I shall never see/ A poem as lovely as a tree.” are the first two lines of the poem in question (Trees by Alfred Joyce Kilmer)

35. Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’, Geum ‘Mrs Bradshaw’ and Dahlia ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ have red flowers.

36. The name of the garden show last summer was Bloom.

37. Alchemilla, Athyrium, Cardamine pratensis and Cypripedium are all “lady” plants (lady’s mantle, lady fern, lady’s smock and lady’s slipper).

38. Lamb-Clarke Collection at University College Dublin is composed of Irish apple varieties.

39. The hoverfly is a friend to the gardener.

40. Crassula ovata (also sometimes known as C. argentea), is commonly known as the money plant.

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