Sea Buckthorn planted in Willow Walk

Three years after buying Hippophae rhamnoides 'Orange Energy', they’re finally planted in the forest garden Willow Walk.

Newly planted trees in recently mulched beds
Two Sea Buckthorn, just about visible past the Sumac tree

I bought two Hippophae rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) ‘Orange Energy’ from Agroforestry Research Trust. They’re one of the few native nitrogen fixing trees/shrubs (I can only think of Cytisus scoparius (Broom) off-hand but I’m sure there are others). They produce incredibly healthy fruit for juicing, they’re great for windbreaks and have long thorns, so good for protection too.

For the past three years, one has been languishing under an ash tree, the other much perkier & taller by a willow. Today I finally managed to move them to their final growing place, in the Willow Walk at the end of the forest garden. They’re underplanted with Rubus tricolor (Chinese Bramble) as ground cover and flanked by a yet-to-be-planted fruiting currant hedge on one side and Willow Coppice on the other, which itself is underplanted with Glechoma hederaceae (Alefoot) and Symphytum x uplandicum ‘Bocking 14’ (sterile Comfrey).

As you can deduce from the crop and the ground cover, it’s a low traffic area at the end of the garden.

One of the most exciting parts of this afternoon was using my patented ‘Bamboo String Radius Device’®. It’s a piece of string with knots every 0.5 metres, tied to a bit of bamboo: super-cool low-tech in the extreme. Sea Buckthorn grows to about 5 metres diameter, so I pegged the bamboo in the ground and measured out 2.5 metres in each direction.

Short piece of bamboo with string attached, held in glove

The patented ‘Bamboo String Radius Device’® in action. I don’t mind if you make your own.

One of the most tiring parts of this afternoon was digging out the larger 2.5 metre high Sea Buckthorn. This took about half an hour, and reminded me of the saying “Planting a tree is easier than moving a tree”.

Half dug roots of large shrub

Just look at that Sea Buckthorn’s root system!

Time for a cup of tea 🍵. By the way, it’s my birthday today, so I will be eating cake 🍰.

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