Orchard Rise - Tree Planting

Chapel Lane / Orchard Rise, Pwllmeyric.

In the Spring of 2013 the existing hedgerow at the foot of Orchard Rise where it meets Chapel Lane, had become overgrown and was encroaching on the adjacent property. To bring order to the situation the old hedgerow was removed leaving bare ground and some stumps.

The adjacent residents took the opportunity to erect an interwoven boundary fence leaving the outward side in need of replanting as both a screen and a restoration of the entrance hedgerow.

Because of the prevalence of bindweed, brambles and nettles the need for access for weeding between future new plantings meant that the hedgerow trees chosen needed to be thorn free varieties.

Saplings were bought and delivered in October comprising Hazel and Dogwood for the top row, Field Maple and Common Oak for the middle row and Beech and Rowan for the lower row. The rows were designed to bring density quickly and to take account of the marked slope of the ground between the roadside and the foot of the new fencing.

130 trees were bought bare rooted and in October a team comprising Orchard Rise residents and members of Villages in Bloom set about planting over 100 tree saplings, leaving a surplus to be planted elsewhere and over-wintered as a strategic reserve. Given the driving Winter winds from the Severn Estuary there was a real need for a reserve against the possibility of a percentage failure, given that the banking of the ground was 45 degrees in places and rainwater would tend to run off.

Accommodation was made available for the surplus trees and they came through the Winter successfully. Unfortunately the front row Beech saplings experienced a high failure rate with some 12 out of 32 planted having not lived. They have been left as markers and will need replacing this Autumn from the reserve of trees which have been moved yet again to a friendly farm north of Chepstow. They have prospered so the next replanting is expected to bring a favourable outcome.

Meanwhile the new trees are becoming established next to, and between, the sprouting former stumps from the old hedge and a new hedgerow is coming about. The community effort was much appreciated by residents and this corner of Pwllmeyric has been enhanced.
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