1. My little oak - Updated April 2021

Back in 2019, not long after I purchased the land and dawn and I started taking our first, proper look around, we found a small oak tree, hidden away in the middle of a tangle of brambles and hawthorn branches.

I cleared away some of the brambles, which had scarred the trunk quite deeply, opening up some space around the little oak. By the end of 2019 I was very gratified to see that the oak had survived and had indeed managed to thrive.

During the course of 2020, “little oak” continues to grow at a surprising rate, gaining at least a foot in height and several feet in limb length. However, the hawthorn and bramble still threatened to restrict her growth – already she appears to be leaning toward the open area and the light, causing the trunk to develop at an unusual angle (hence the stake I put in earlier this year).

On Dec 25th, I cleared some more of the bramble growth, but having established that BBC considered hawthorns to be trees (rather than hedgerow shrubs) was waiting on the official planning permission before cutting back some of the hawthorn branches.

So, this is where we are now, until February…

To be continued…

As at 27th Feb 2021, work had proceeded as follows:

Planning permission was received from Beds Borough Council earlier in the month, but bad weather meant it was not a good time to spend hours outdoors if you didn't have to (I'm definitely a fair weather gardener). However, after a few days of clearer weather I headed over with a pair of secateurs, folding saw, and gardening stool, and proceeded to do battle with the brambles.

The work isn't quite complete, but Little Oak has some good clearance on three sides now and after this coming weekend (27th-28th March) should be free of encumbrance.

I took a moment to sit, just in front of where I stood to take this picture, and view my work (not used to the upper-body workout I was getting) and was treated to the sight of a couple of robins flitting in and out and sitting on the newly exposed branches, eyeing the recently exposed ground for unearthed bugs and things. They seemed to be relatively unconcerned by my presence (indeed, last year I was followed by a chatty robin as I patrolled part of the woods).

The last update to this blog, weather willing early next week, should be a couple of pictures of the finally freed oak. Then that will be phase 1 of the planned works complete.

[Now go to 3. The Domino Trees for the next update.]


As at April 18th, this was the progress . . . more or less complete, now.

Inbetween work on the Domino trees and the Cluster, I decided to tackle the remaining hawthorn and bramble tendrils.... definitely not the the faint hearted as brambles fight back.

But now, the Little Oak, which now reaches up to about 10ft (3m), is free to spread, and is clearly taking advantage of her new freedom with a fresh, spring growth-spurt.

As long as I can keep the deer from chewing on the bark, I think she'll grow to be a fine young oak...