Trees and Hedges
Present day planting
The site of Under Elms was replanted by Nich Butler, using a variety of trees donated by friends , neighbours and relatives. They include oak, ash, horsechestnut and a walnut. He has also planted up the site of what are marked as allotments on OS maps with a more exotic collection including Giant sequoia and a meta sequoia glypto-stroboides, a plant discovered in China in 1949 and known in the fossil record
At Dove House (formerly Home Farm) in the field above the house in what was in 1703 called Cherry Piece 268 trees have been planted, mainly mixed deciduous English hardwoods: oak, ash, beech, maple, alder, hazel and poplar. There are in addition 160 Scots pine, castinea and Cedar of Lebanon.
THE BROWN FAMILY
Since about 1990 the Browns too have been planting native woodland species such as oak and ash. This has been in the land nearest to Sescut Farm, outside the actual parish boundary but within the land farmed by them. So corners of Cow Ground, Cross Ground, Big Field, Island, Cherwell and along the parish boundary at Orchard have all had trees planted there.
The family living there provide their own account of the establishment of their small wood. Andrew and Wendy Wilson write:
David Rees of the Oxfordshire Woodland Group has provided encouragement and advice on the project to turn our field from a dull old paddock into a sustainable coppicing wood made up of species native to the area. It should in time provide a modest supply of firewood, with ten percent harvested in rotation starting in about ten years. We hope that this low-maintenance woodland garden, complete with glades (so as to retain the view of Oxford) and paths will also grow into a natural habitat to attract varieties of wildlife.Wilson's wood
We’ve put in 1,800 trees in all and have used only those native to the area, predominantly
Ash, with sizable drifts of Oak and Field Maple. For fillers we’ve planted Wild Cherry, Sweet chestnut, Walnut, Hornbeam, Crab Apple, Birch and Alder as well as shrubs – dogwood, Hazel, Spindle, Dog rose, Wayfaring tree and Guelder rose.
This year we got as far as starting a mixed Saxon hedge along our boundary fence facing on to the fields, but in time the plan is to run it down the full length of the field. More potential habitat for bird life, at least that’s the idea.
What a learning curve this project has been – we’ve learnt that there is more than one way to plant a tree and that everyone’s an expert each with a special tip! It’s been good fun and great exercise!
Wendy and Andrew Wilson. March 2009.
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