SCIENCE & HORTICULTURE
sampling the coleopteral fauna (beetles) of individual parent oaks and ancient wood pasture, with a view to creating habitat connectivity
saproxylic (deadwood) beetle conservation in relation to veteran and ancient oaks
educational outreach programmes on oaks, and on beetle diversity and conservation
understanding of the nuances of acorn cropping, including mast years (years of abundance)
a range of soil mycology experiments relating to oaks
Our trees are grown with care.
Usually the acorns are stored in the dark for a short while, before germination, then potted into 9cm deep pots, or for large quantities, sown in trays. The growing media vary, but in 2022 we are using Melcourt Organic peat-free nursery stock compost, 100% recycled plastic pots, and reused plastic home delivery trays no longer required by supermarkets.
Sowing beds have been made up from reused scaffold boards, and British manufactured galvanised steel mesh rolls to exclude mice (hence we don't need to kill or poison any - we love mice).
Trees are then potted up more or less on an annual basis, into incrementally larger pots, up to a maximum of around 43 to 60 litres, when ideally they will then be provided with a new home, and planted out in the wild. The larger oaks are irrigated using rain water from a natural reservoir.
We are working towards 'Plant Healthy' certification.