Tim Burr

Latest posts by Tim Burr

1 to 10 of 344

Direction question

Posted: 02/09/2017 at 12:42

If you have a tree or even a fence in the garden, if you have green algae growing on one side of it, but none on the other, then the side with green algae on faces North and the side with no algae faces South.  You could also use the roof of a house.  The South facing roof slope will be clear of moss, but if the North facing roof slope will be mossy.  Who needs  fancy compass! 

Pond plants

Posted: 27/08/2017 at 23:29

You can buy barley straw bales from Amazon - throw 2 of these in the water in Spring.  They will keep the water clear for about 8-12 weeks.  When done, remove and throw in two more.  That will see you thru' to Autumn, and then remove for winter.  Re-do in following Spring.


Removing an old Ceanothus

Posted: 27/08/2017 at 12:23

So, finally took the plunge and just taken out the now (was) 15 foot ceanothus from the garden.  In the end, discovered that the tap root had grown sideways at 90 degrees to the trunk rather than down and it had disappeared under the fence to next door so despite a massive amount of heaving and hoeing, it wouldn't come out, so, rather than pulling the whole fence down, I've cut it off at the fence line. I assume over time it will just die off and rot away.  The best thing is that I've now got a completely empty bit of ground so I can plant something a bit thinner and more vertical in the space.

Now to try and work out how to get all the ceanothus into the green waste wheelie bin! 

Last edited: 27 August 2017 12:24:21

Bamboo - what to do?

Posted: 20/08/2017 at 22:18

Was at RHS Wisley last week and was intrigued to see how they managed the bamboo in their small model gardens.  The bamboos appears to be the clumping kind, but understand that those like to creep but at a much slower pace.  It appeared Wisley keep them in check by simply going around and cutting back any culms to ground level. Did also see some creepers that were growing just below the surface and again, evidence that these were also being cut back to stop them taking the bamboo to places it wasn't meant to go.  Guess this is the key, with regular (at least 2/3 times a year) maintenance to stop it going all over the place.


Posted: 06/08/2017 at 15:23

And, always a word of caution for any neighbour disputes.  Try and avoid them at all costs and if there is an issue, always try to resolve things amicably.  If you own your own home and then in future come to sell it, you have a responsibility to the person purchasing to inform them of wrangles with neighbours.  Some people take the information with a pinch of salt whilst others will run for the hills.  If you don't disclose a dispute and the buyer falls into the latter camp, you put yourself at risk if anything happens in the future with your neighbour and the new owner of your old property.


Posted: 06/08/2017 at 15:02

Forgot to say if you do cut off any roots and branches, you must offer them back to your neighbour otherwise he could try and get you done for theft.  Seriously! 


Posted: 06/08/2017 at 15:01

Goat willow can be shallow rooted but be aware that all willows like soil which gets plenty of water with the risk that if planted close to a house with excessive water coming off the eaves or if you already have broken drainage, the roots would be attracted to that which can cause problems later.

What you can do quite legally is cut off branch and roots that come on to or ingress into your boundary, however, cutting the roots could cause the tree to be unsafe, so if it did topple over as a result of your action, you could be liable for any damages. You should talk to your neighbour and also be aware they are technically responsible for paying for the work to be done, although to be amicable, you could offer to pay half or all the cost if it is not excessive. If damage to your property has already occurred or occurs in future as a result of their tree, then your neighbour would be responsible for putting matters right.  If this was the case, then certainly get your insurers involved and also speak to your solicitors, especially if you have paid for 'legal' on your insurance policy.

If you're worried about branches blocking light, then you could seek an injunction, to stop the tree from blocking light coming into your property, however, you may have to have evidence that you have enjoyed light coming into the window for up to 20 years.  This is called the Doctrine of Prescription. Be aware that the right-to-light is a vague test so it would probably need experts to provide evidence if you wanted to go do an injunction route.


Posted: 06/08/2017 at 12:54

Just to be aware that its quite late to prune now, so may risk not flowering next Spring.

Acer platanoides 'Crimson Sentry' Tree

Posted: 06/08/2017 at 12:40

Have a Acer platanoides 'Crimson Sentry' Tree that has been growing in the corner of the garden for about 5 years.  Probably now around 15 foot tall.  However, although the habit of this tree should be bolt upright, after about 6/7 foot (above the fence line), the main trunk has developed a kink so has grown sideways and then reverted to growing upright again, with the result the top end of the tree is now out of alignment by about 2 foot with the bottom half. Looks wrong and certainly now means that the top half of the tree is overshadowing the border underneath it.

I am wondering if the best way of dealing with this is to cut back the trunk at where the kink starts in the hope is that it will grow a new leader that goes straight up.  The only concern I have is that the tree will take umbridge to that and just grow sideways in all directions and turn it into a large shrub, which is not what I want as I planted it to block out the view from the neighbours windows at the house that is located to the back right side of me.

My only other alternative is to have done with it and remove it completely.  To be honest, I think I planted it in the wrong place anyway.  It is in a fairly shaded corner so with it being dark leaved it draws even more light out of the area.  The lower leaves of the tree from below fence line to ground also are reverting to dark green and are not crimson which I guess is caused by the lack of light.  Top half is crimson.

If I did cut it back, I'd do it in winter when it's dormant - not now whilst it is in full leaf.

Mildew on my Laurel Hedge

Posted: 16/07/2017 at 08:08

I have a 6 foot (tall) by 12 foot (wide) by 3 foot (deep) laurel hedge that runs along the bottom of my front garden that is well established from when I moved in my house 7 years ago.  It affords the front of my house a little bit of privacy.  Every year it gets a trim in August/September to keep it in a relatively tight oblong box shape. I like it and I wouldn't want to lose it, however, every year it suffers really badly from mildew to the point last year almost all the leaves had shot holes and it looked very unsightly.

This year I decided to spray the whole hedge with fungicide and although the mildew is not as bad as last year the hedge is still looking really sorry for itself and the leaves are still mottled.  I am wondering if there is something else going on like leaf spot fungi, however, I would have thought what I sprayed would have treated that.  I only sprayed the hedge once and wonder if I should have sprayed it more although the instructions said spray it no more than twice in a season.  I did not spray until I noticed the mildew and wonder if I should have done it before any sign of infection.

New growth that is coming thru' this year is seemingly unaffected, but that will come off when I trim it back to its tight shape again in late summer/early autumn.

Can anybody offer any top tips on how to get rid or really reduce the incidence of mildew?  Should I have sprayed earlier in the season and if so, when.  I think I remember spraying it in June.  

In terms of location.  It is a fairly hot and dry location specially in summer and the ground always seems dry under the hedge.  I do regularly clear out the dead leaves (and there is often a lot) under the hedge so that keeps the air flowing and also any rain that does fall might soak into the ground and not just on the leaves.  The soil is a light loam.  I'm thinking that given that is so well established, that water is unlikely to be a major issue.  I don't water it especially and I've never fed it (perhaps I should?) 

Anybody offer any advice?

1 to 10 of 344

Discussions started by Tim Burr

Acer platanoides 'Crimson Sentry' Tree

Gone a bit wonky! 
Replies: 0    Views: 213
Last Post: 06/08/2017 at 12:40

Mildew on my Laurel Hedge

How to treat successfully 
Replies: 1    Views: 221
Last Post: 16/07/2017 at 08:35


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Last Post: 09/07/2017 at 19:39

Oriental Poppy - what do to after flowering

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Last Post: 21/06/2017 at 21:42

Garden Pond edging and planting renovations

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Last Post: 15/05/2017 at 07:44

Fatsia Japonica - frost damage on new growth

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Last Post: 29/04/2017 at 17:07

Kerria Japonica Pruning

Replies: 7    Views: 709
Last Post: 29/04/2017 at 10:54

Japanese Rowen (Sorbus Commixta)

Replies: 0    Views: 172
Last Post: 16/04/2017 at 11:56

Bluebells - not spreading

Should I count myself lucky! 
Replies: 4    Views: 421
Last Post: 06/04/2017 at 14:37

Small bed/border around conservatory

Ideas, ideas, ideas.... 
Replies: 0    Views: 288
Last Post: 02/04/2017 at 11:34

Garden Pond Renovation

Replies: 6    Views: 687
Last Post: 05/03/2017 at 12:36

Coral Spot on Rowan

Replies: 0    Views: 259
Last Post: 19/02/2017 at 10:57

Conservatory Yucca

Grown too tall.. 
Replies: 1    Views: 480
Last Post: 01/01/2017 at 15:58

Water in systemic insecticide

Replies: 3    Views: 596
Last Post: 18/09/2016 at 16:28

Removing an old Ceanothus

Replies: 8    Views: 1238
Last Post: 27/08/2017 at 15:00
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