Val de la Mar ZONE NEWS UPDATE – August 2014

Forgotten-Forest-LightwebAll Zones

• A final cut / mow is to be made of the entire arboretum.
• The verification of the specimens is ongoing zone by zone. When sufficient trees have been identified individual tree labels will be commissioned thanks to sponsorship by Jersey Electricity and the relationship with Le Rocquier School.
• The current interpretation boards are to be updated with the correct nomenclature of the trees where necessary.
• Interpretation boards are to be produced for zones without them.
• The main interpretation board is to be updated.
• With our new links to Bedgebury Pinetum in Kent and the Royal Botanical Gardens, Edinburgh, advice will be given as to what will grow in each of the zones. They will also provide us with such plants which will allow them to spread their collection of rarities and increase their chances of survival in our more temperate climate.

The tree’s identities have been verified so we are in the process of having individual labels produced by Le Rocquier School which should be ready soon into the new term. The major deadwood will be removed from the trees before the onset of winter. We have some trees in stock to plant this coming winter in order to revitalise the collection.

North American
The tree identities have been verified so we are in the process of having individual labels produced by Le Rocquier School which should be ready soon into the new term. Some of the maples are beginning to colour up already.

America Oaks
We are in the process of identifying some of the varieties that have so far drawn a blank with a number of tree experts from the UK. The steep bank is due to be cut by sickle in some places where it is too steep to strim.

A circular path has been cut through the bracken and this needs to be better defined and routed around a few trees to make it more useable.

Wing Nuts Walnut and Hickories
Two zone sponsors are generously giving up their time and leading the maintenance of this zone. They have made great inroads in clearing around the trees and improving access and have removed a surprising amount of domestic rubbish.

This zone has just been sponsored and the trees are soon to be “haloed” to prevent them being supressed by the surrounding trees.

A previously un-noticed Snake Bark Maple planted on the steep south-facing bank has been found and marked so it is not overlooked again. A fallen oak that partially blocks the stream and causes flooding is soon to be removed.

Elm Trial
Rawlinson and Hunter Trust Co. (the sponsor) has just completed another volunteer task as they did last year. They cut and stacked elm suckers that were out-competing some of the 8 varieties of elm planted there. Another session is planned in the autumn to conclude the work.

Extensive clearance around the very rare Chinese Swamp Cypress trees is to be carried out. Conifer experts are due to advise of and supply trees that will thrive in the zone as probably most losses have been experienced here. Their knowledge of the arboretum will be valuable for all zones.

More formative pruning of the pines is required and suckers from encroaching aspen and willows need to be cut back. The clearings of gorse and bramble are to be enlarged and joined up. Red Band Needle Blight, a pine disease from mainland Europe, has become prevalent which will lead to specimens being lost in the near to medium term.

Mixed Oaks
6th Manton Scouts has carried out a sycamore cull, digging up the seedlings in order to prevent them developing. A professional tree surgeon has devoted a day’s work, free of charge, to clear space around the trees in the collection in order to “halo” them from invasive non-natives like sycamore and evergreen oak. Further work is planned in this zone as well as most of the others.