Get ‘Em Young!

Following that instruction has given the world everything from prodigies like Mozart to the Hitler Youth, but what’s that to do with allotments?

Well, we’re fortunate in being surrounded by handsome mature trees in the parks around us, which beautify our setting. The downside is that these – especially ash, sycamore, and willow – produce a myriad of wind-blown seeds, which readily take root on every plot across the site. The hawthorns also do this, but saplings tend to be either close to the trees or where birds drop after having eaten the haws.

Ash seedling – they can hide but the alert gardener will find them!

It’s just a matter of fact that considerations of shading and the terms of tenancy require us not to allow broad leaf trees such as these to grow on our plots (nor, for that matter, conifers or fruit trees more than 4m tall). Also, we mustn’t maintain them if they’re already growing there when we take on our plot, but remove them. If we didn’t, then the whole site would rapidly revert to primordial forest.

Sycamore saplingone of a fair number on plots around site!

So we should dig these up as soon as we notice them. When they’re seedlings or saplings this is very easy and no trouble at all. However they grow very quickly, putting down deep tap roots, and so the longer we delay, the harder this unavoidable job will be!

If anyone – or their predecessors to their plot – has overlooked to remove such a tree, and tackling it would be problematic, then if they message PPAA Committee, and where the stem or trunk is more than say, 50mm in diameter, they’ll give what help they can for its removal. 

There’s since been brilliant work by a new plot holder in dealing thoroughly with this daunting challenge. Please accept our sincere thanks for a fine example set!

If the tree’s semi-mature or larger, then in some instances  – where it’s kept well pollarded, or is not a very large variety, e.g. buddleia – a pragmatic decision to leave well alone may be taken, but please don’t any of us ignore the likes of ash, hawthorn, willow, and sycamore!

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