One of our arborists, Nathan, has been using an Arb-Ex tree spade to decompact the ground, using compressed air, around the roots of a mature Oak tree by Reed pond. This will help extend the life of the tree by improving air and water uptake.
The Grounds Team manage over 10,000 mature trees on campus. Many of these trees have been around for over 150 years, making them veterans. Others are still maturing, but they all take some kind of specialist care and investment.
Following recent research initiatives in tree care, the Grounds Team have purchased a state of the art tree spade. This device is designed to decompact around tree roots using compressed air. This has the potential to extend the life of veteran trees by improving air and water uptake. It also helps decompact ground prior to planting new trees, giving them a better start in life.
During the next few weeks, the Grounds Team will be working in the Old Walled Garden adjacent to the IAIS Building, around Reed Pond and Pinetum and on Washington Singer lawns targeting some trees for decompaction. A tree ring will also be created and mulched with material from our own campus green waste site. Some of the rings will be under-planted with bulbs, including our native Bluebell, to create spring interest and compliment some of the trees autumn colours and spectacular bark.
In addition a second project will be undertaken on Birks Bank Arboretum, where selected trees will be treated with national biostimulants containing seaweed and beneficial fungi, such as Mycorrhizal, to see if it has a positive impact on the health of some of the rare trees planted on that site.
The autumn and winter period will also see around 30 trees planted on our campuses, to replace trees lost during storms or affected by disease or decay as well as trees donated to the University grounds, to help maintain a healthy and vibrant selection of trees for the future.