The Priory oaks are impressive. Huge, ancient, gnarled, neck-craning impressive. They were the first thing I noticed and the last I shall say good-bye to.
We have about twenty mature oaks; most hale, a few less so. With an eye on the latter, and because the Priory should never be oak-less, I planted some replacements.
When I was nowt but a lad (February 2011), I wrote about digging up and re-planting three small oak trees (see ‘Planting For The Future’). I don’t suppose I’ve mentioned them since.
Well, four and a half years later might be time for an update. And the update is: after a little initial hesitancy, they’re doing fine. Slow growing, of course (they’re oaks!), but otherwise fine. I wasn’t even convinced they would survive the trauma of being tugged up from their original home – a small area of woodland up on the drive .
For a couple of years, I watered them intermittently during very dry weather. I put tree protectors on the trunks against rabbits; but deer – my biggest worry – haven’t touched them. Yet.
One of the three has done especially well. Why, it’s almost big enough to hide behind … if not to climb. I’d struggle to transplant it now.
This is the same tree when its protector was a more generous fit. My intention was to continue an existing line of two big oaks and an enormous ash whilst avoiding an often water-filled ditch.
And I think I’ll achieve just that. (The large oaks might be dead before these babies reach full height but we’ll simply ignore that inconvenient truth).
I shouldn’t think I’ll be around in two hundred years to see my oaks grow into mighty giants.
But if they do, I might be allowed to gaze down over the Priory and smile, paternally. (Assuming I’m up above. The view from below won’t be as good).