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Latest posts by obelixx

Tree surgeons not getting to root of problem!

Posted: 24/09/2014 at 08:04

I think you should certainly write a polite letter explaining your problem and asking about the lack of reply to your calls but I think you may find that root grinding just refers to the central root stump and not every root branch.

If, as I suspect, you do end up dealing with this root yourself, get yourself a pruning saw - Wolf system do a very good one and you can use different length handles.  Clear the soil from the sides and saw it into chunks you can prise out with a fork or spade.   Leave the rest to rot in the ground and provide food for beneficial critters.


Posted: 23/09/2014 at 17:05

These products can only be applied a couple of times a year so their frequency of care is OK but you can probably buy the products yourself and sprinkle it on yourself either by hand or with a distributor.

Then you can spend a £100 or so on a scarifier machine which you run over your grass in spring and again in autumn to remove thatch and dead material from your grass.    You'll have an amazing lawn in a short time and tools you can use for years - all for less than the £240 annual service charge.

Can you grow a tree in a pot?

Posted: 23/09/2014 at 10:34

I suspect that what is wanted is a tree in shape and form so the short answer is no, neither of these trees is suitable for growing in pots as they get far too big and coppicing would make it just a big shrub.   Eucalyptus are far too vigorous and birch can bleed to death if pruned at the wrong time or too heavily.

Since your garden is small, you definitey don't want tree roots in the soil where they will expand to seek nutrients and moisture and eventually disrupt either foundations or drain and swer pipes or all of the above.    Search instead for a small tree which can be container grown, something like an apple or pear on dwarf rooting stock will fit the bill and give you fruit too if there's a pollinator nearby.   The RHS suggests these trees - 

You will be entirley responsible for all its needs in terms of good soil, nutrients and watering so use the biggest container you can find (minimum 60cms deep and wide) and use top quality John Innes no 3 compost in which to anchor its roots.   Give a top dressing of pelleted chicken manure or blood, fish and bone every spring and regumar feeds of liquid tomato food through the growing season.

Pruning Dogwood

Posted: 22/09/2014 at 22:26

If they are the ones grown for their colourful stems you prune them in spring when new leaf buds emerge.   You then cut them back to one or two pairs of leaf buds and give them a good drink and a feed of pelleted chicken manure to encourage all the lovely new growth which will give you next winter's colourful stems display.

If you have cornus Midwinter Fire, you should just cut the stems back by half and remove the thinnest, spindliest stems back to on eor two buds.  They can sulk if pruned too hard.

Plant disruption - Spring or Autumn

Posted: 22/09/2014 at 14:59

Take cuttings of treasures so you have replacements just in case.  You can always swap any you don't need with friends or sell them at a local charity fair.

Plants that don't attract babes and wasps

Posted: 22/09/2014 at 14:30

Grasses are wind pollinated so you could start with some of those.   Double forms of flowers tend to be sterile or difficult for bees to access so you could look at those.

The RHS publishes a list of plants to attract pollnating insects so avoid anything on there -


Gardener's World discussed on Points of View

Posted: 22/09/2014 at 09:16

A jet pack would scare the pats off my Labrador!   Poor thing spent the first 3 years of his life cooped indoors so is frightened of new stuff and was recently traumatised by a low flying hot air balloon going over our house and garden.

As for GW moving and/or being cancelled, it has been subject to such vagaries for years but at least now we can set our boxes to record it and watch at our leisure.   I don't thing the Sunday morning repeat being aired next to Beechgrove has doen it any favours.    GW seems heavy, and leaden and slow by comparison and light on info covered. 

Narrow Garden Issue

Posted: 22/09/2014 at 08:48

You don't have to plant your tree in the border do you?  Plant it in teh middle of the lawn towards the end of your garden at half the distacnce of its final width from your rear boundary.   It can later become a place to sit in shade or grow shade loving plants as your garden and children and dog mature.

Have a look here for suitable trees - 

Mystery French plant

Posted: 22/09/2014 at 07:47

t is a shrubby sage and not frost hardy so you would need to move it to a greenhouse for winter protection -


Plant disruption - Spring or Autumn

Posted: 22/09/2014 at 07:41

Lead can have serious effects on human fertility and brain functions so I wouldn't dismiss the need for this work out f hand but maybe a soil test of your own might confirm the need for it to be done.    The RHS offers a soil testing service to members.  The joining fee is equivalent to an annual GW magazine subscription and gets you a monthly magazine plus free access to their gardens and advice service..

Autumn is the safest time to move or disrupt the majority of plants except grasses and hstas which can sulk and maybe die.   If you have those, I would lift and pot them up yourself and keep them somewhere sheltered while the work is going on.

Take photos of your garden before any work starts and keep an eye on what does and doesn't come back in case you need to complain.

Good luck.

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