Orchard Management

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Treeation have undertaken an orchard restoration programme in Wickwar, Gloucestershire. The orchard is thought to have been planted up as part of Tortworth Estate some 50-60years ago. Limited pruning has been taken out since although many of the mature apple trees have had there canopies raised high diverting growth into the upper crown creating trees that are more likely to succumb to wind throw. The lack of recent pruning has also resulted in an accumulation of crossing, diseased branches in crowded conditions as well as many water shoots and limbs out of balance.

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After an initial orchard assessment a management plan was created that clearly identified objectives, an immediate restoration pruning programme as well as a on going maintenance programme to ensure that the orchard health and longevity is maximised in the future. Planting suggestions, timing of pruning, brash management and costings for the work were also included so the client had all the information required.

 

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Work then commenced on the large apple trees using arborists to climb with ropes and harnesses. The majority of the aerial work was aimed at reducing upright limbs and creating a well balanced crown where growth would be concentrated to downward growing branches. Also, by thinning the interior crown air flow and crowded areas of branches now have room to expand without crossing each other. All arisings were dealt by with the crew to leave the orchard safe and tidy.

 

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One of the main objectives for the orchard was to manage it for wildlife. This meant the retention of some aerial deadwood where safe to do so and the use of coronet cuts that allow a far more habitable (for insects) natural looking pruning cut.

 

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