Taynuilt Trees
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Tree size

Ideally all trees should have a good balance between stem height and root system. In other words a tall tree with a tiny root will struggle on an exposed hillside; equally a tiny tree will be smothered if planted in tall vegetation. The way the planting ground is prepared, the site vegetation and exposure are the main factors to consider. Most large scale forestry planting is done on machine dug mounds (replacing the traditional ploughed furrows). The machine takes a dollop of soil and turns it turf-side down and the tree is planted on top of the mound. This system gives the tree a weed free start and the excavated hole offers some drainage. Ideally the mounding operation is carried out the autumn before spring planting to let the turf layer break down so that the tree roots are in full contact with the ground moisture.

For smaller scale planting the mounds can be dug by hand or the trees can be slit-planted into herbicide treated patches. Again forward planning in the autumn either by mounding or herbicide application, is a great way to ensure easy planting. On exposed sites with high wind loads a smaller tree is preferred, say 15-30cm for broadleaves and 10-20cm for Scots Pine. On more sheltered sites with more vigorous vegetation, a taller tree will do better getting away from the grasses that will surround it.


Planting Advice

Seed Origins and Planting Local

It has been recognised by the Forestry Commission (FC) and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) that when creating a woodland, trees should be grown from locally collected seed to ensure local adaptations and wildlife relationships are preserved. The FC (Scotland) now require that seed origins are certified for every forest tree sold and payment of grants is conditional on the correct origin being used. A system of seed origin zones has been devised to guide nurserymen and foresters (see seedmap on the left). The origin zones are explained in the FC Practice note FCPN008, 'Using local stock for planting native trees and shrubs (Herbert)', which can be downloaded as a pdf document by clicking here or ordered free online from the publications section of The Forestry Commission website.

All our seed is collected in the zone 106 which takes in most of mainland Argyll from Campbeltown to Fort William, mostly around the village of Taynuilt near Oban in North Argyll. Zone 106 origin trees are also suitable for planting in neighbouring zones and the inner Hebrides where viable tree populations are scarce. By making our own collections we can assure complete traceability for customers from the collected seed to the planted tree. Please contact us for any more advice on suitability of our seed origins for your area.

Choosing species

The species that you plant, their size and the spacing between plants, will all be determined by your site. If you are planting under a grant scheme you may have a design plan prepared for you by a professional forester. However we are here to help if you wish to design your own woodland. We can assist with species mixes for most situations. A series of eight excellent FC guides, 'The management of semi-natural woodlands', is available online in PDF format at the Forestry Commission site.

A rough guide to help choosing species for a particular site or soil type can be seen by
clicking here »

Spacing and Size of Plants

Traditionally large scale forestry planting would be at a tree density of 1100 stems/ha, this should not be taken to mean that trees should be planted on a strict 2m spaced grid. These days, to achieve a more natural look to planting, mixes of trees are planted in clusters suitable for the ground. It is very important to be aware of which groups of trees suit which ground conditions or exposure, and plant accordingly. Most schemes whether small or large, will need some 'beating-up' or replacement of failed stock (typically only 10% unless a serious problem with voles, deer or other browsers has occurred). Beating-up can provide a good opportunity to enhance the planting with species that have done well or with smaller numbers of minor species.

Creating Native Hedges

We recommend planting a staggered double row, 30-45cm between rows, with plants spaced at 30cm along the row. This makes approximately 6 plants per metre run of the hedge. Plants should be of 30-60 cm and stocky; although bigger plants can be cut back to encourage a bushy habit. In Argyll natural hedges will include a mix of species; a typical composition is given in the table below. Hedges are cut once or twice a year unless laid in the traditional manner. Most hedging these days is for ornamental or wildlife benefits rather than to manage livestock, so cutting can be timed to avoid disturbing nesting birds and to leave berries on the bushes. Remember the new hedge will need to be protected from grazing while it establishes. A typical mix of native species is given in the table below.

Species Latin name % of plants
Hawthorn Crataegus monogyna 70
Blackthorn/Sloe Prunus spinosa 10
Bird Cherry Prunus padus 5
Hazel Corylus avellana 5
Dog Rose Rosa Canina 5
Mix of other native species 5

Taynuilt Trees, Keepers Cottage, Taynuilt, Argyll, PA35 1HY
Tel: 01866 822591 or 07748 038584 | Email Us
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