Do you remember when you first brought your child home from hospital and suddenly had to work out why it was crying and what it needed? After a few weeks of being a nervous wreck you worked out your baby wasn’t going to die and that you would probably be okay as a mother, although you doubted you would ever get dressed before midday or have a good night’s sleep again.
Well I bought a tree and I’m like that new mother who has just brought the baby home from hospital and it has started crying.
One of the first parts of the garden to be overhauled was the front garden (it is yet to get a blog post) and as part of that work we planted a tree. Now the last time we planted a tree it died, so this time I did hours of research looking for one the correct size and suitable for our heavy clay soil. My research led to buy an Amelanchier lamarckii which is also known as a Juneberry/ Snowy mespilus, it had the ideal spread and height for the spot we had chosen for it and plenty of interest throughout the year. Rather than risk buying a small tree husband agreed with me that a more mature and expensive tree might stand a better chance of surviving, with the advantage I wouldn’t have to try and prune it into shape. It also means we should see it grow to maturity.
Having ordered it we waited a couple of weeks for it to be delivered and I made sure that the spot where it was going was clear of weeds etc. On the day it arrived husband duly dug a nice big hole and we planted, fed and staked it in what we hope will be its new home. My research had led me to discover that the reason our previous tree probably didn’t survive was because I didn’t water it for long enough and so I have made sure this one is well watered.
Of course it had to arrive as the first spell of unseasonably warm weather arrived and just before Storm Hector passed across the country, although we just had strong winds. My poor tree is not happy it lost its lovely berries after the week of strong winds, the leaves have developed holes and I worry about whether or not I’ve over-watered or under-watered it. Although in this heat it is unlikely to be over-watered, especially with my neighbour’s lovely conifer hedge so close.
More time on the computer looking up how to check if a newly planted tree is in need to watering has given me a little more confidence that my tree is not being over-watered, but there is still that bit of doubt. I have to keep reminding myself that digging down to check the roots aren’t sitting in a pool of water, thanks to the clay soil, will only stress the tree more.
Having spoken to some people at our local garden centre I have been advised the bigger the tree the more stressed it gets when it is moved and that I really won’t know if it’s okay until next year, when it has had a chance to acclimitise to its new home. A friend also told me the story of a mature tree they transplanted when they moved which took three years to decide if it was going to thrive in its new home, but I’m still wracked with doubts. Oh how I wish there was a nice tree expert who, like a midwife, would check on my tree at regular intervals and reassure me it is doing just fine.
Right now, although I am enjoying the warm spell that means I have achieved so much already in the garden, for the sake of my poor tree I really wish we were having a typical British summer, with plenty of rain.
Any thoughts of going camping this summer have also been abandoned. Nice camping weather means I need to be here to check on the tree and who wants to camp in the rain.
Now where is my trowel and watering can, time to check the top five inches of soil and begin to panic again.