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Trees and Woodland

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Trees are planted in most wildlife gardens.

All species of trees native or non native are suitable for the wild garden. Native trees tend to be the best at attracting wildlife as birds and insects are familiar with them. Native trees at their best attract wildlife when planted with fellow plant companions from that native tree's ecosystem. (e.g. Birch and Wild Strawberry). It is of little value if an Oak tree attracts hundreds of species to it self, if those species are not in the locality. 

(Try and match the trees you are planting to the locality)

If you plant a tree that has berries, one tree may not be enough to attract the wildlife.  However if on your street, the same berry species exists, birds may be more inclined to visit your area. 

Non native Trees that produce fruit and seed or have edible leaves are the next best choice.

Design Ideas

  • When choosing trees designing for eventual size is wise.

  • Planting trees that grow to the required height and no more will make for very low maintenance.

  • If trees have to be cut, create compost by shredding or chipping the prunings.

  • Young Trees are best planted as whips and mulched.

  • Dwarf conifers and evergreen shrub are vital for over wintering ladybirds. 

Shelter Belt

Any garden requiring shelter should have that shelter planted first. This offers an ideal opportunity to introduce seed and berry forming species. For the backbone of the shelter belt we first try to use native trees and shrubs that grow well in the area .  Remember to plant native evergreens such as Yew, Juniper, Scot Pine (all which require protection when young) as well as Wind hardy birch (for a small garden) Ash or Oak as multi - stem shrub (for a medium sized garden) mixed with whip grown standards of Mountain Ash (Sorbus Aucuparia) and Prunus Avium). Interplant the shelter belt with wild dog rose and in space allows the vigorous Old Mans Beard a native clematis.
Pioneer plant species: Alder, Elderberry, Willow (Salix) all grow easily and very fast. If they out grow the shelterbelt, cut them to kill them and leave the branches to rot and  to decay into humus. After a few years when tree and shrubs have grown large enough to create shade, 
Plant wind hardy wild strawberry, wild raspberry, and  Blackberry, if you don't want Brambles in your garden, you can cheat by planting with thornless blackberry, ornamental bramble (rubus species) and Black Current to the edges.

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Any tree can be used to form a woodland.  For a woodland to develop over the long term, they should be productive, well designed and planted with easy to maintain mixtures of trees.

DBN tends to place wind firm conifers to the north.

Across the whole wood plant 20% firm trees of choice ensuring that the wood has a future, fire resistant species should be kept away from evergreens and light demanding species mixed with shade bearers.

Some trees produce the best leaf litter ( Beech, Hornbeam, Larch, Alder). 

The entire boundary except for vista and access should be planted with shrub to attract wildlife from outside and to protect forest floor leaf litter from the effect of wind and drying out. 

Forest floor leaf litter is vital for ground carpeting wildflowers.

The wood after 8 years can be planted with Azalea and Rhododendron for the gardener.

Wet Woodlands - Endangered ecosystems

Due to the development of land in Ireland, wet woodlands are now one of Irelands most endangered ecosystems.  Design By Nature customers who have wet soil and are considering planting trees should design a wet woodland.  Prunus padus, the Bird Cherry Tree* is now nearly extinct in Ireland.  Under plant with this, Golden Saxifraga, Wood Avens, Autumn Crocus*, Globe flowers*, Marsh Marigold and you can recreate an ecosystem that will directly help conservation of native species on a global scale.
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Autumn Crocus*

*These are protected species.  Ensure when you purchase them from your garden centre that they come from a wild flower nursery and not from the wild.

Golden Saxifrage

 

 

Sandro's Famous Wildflower Seeds
Handing On Our Heritage
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Mr. Sandro Cafolla t/a   
Design By Nature (Ire) 
Monavea, Carlow, Ireland. 
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