The Mourne Conservation Volunteers were out in force on Saturday preparing little oak and hazel whips for planting in the New Year, as part of the ‘Trees for Mourne’ project. The project supplies and plants a mixture of native oak and hazel trees into the Mourne Area. With our tree nursery bursting with saplings and with the prospect of planting in the spring looming the volunteers dug out the oaks, bundling them into groups of ten and tying them together, in a reef knot, using Cordyline leaves which are collected from the garden.
With the bare roots now exposed we needed to protect the roots from frost or drying out. The volunteers dug a trench, wide enough to fit the roots, in good draining conditions. In this case we used a sand bed. The roots of the trees were placed in the sand at an angle before covering the roots well with sand. This temporary storage measure is called ‘heeling in’. This gives the trees extra protection from the elements. Come spring time the saplings will be planted on land within the Mourne area. Approximately 400 trees were prepared on Saturday.
The next MCV event is taking place on Saturday 11th January, 10am at ‘Dunnywater’ (Annalong Valley Red Gates). We will be preparing more oaks for springtime planting. All welcome. This event is suitable for the whole family. Children must be supervised by an adult and all times. Please register your interest with Cathryn Cochrane, Volunteer Coordinator, Mourne Heritage Trust – [email protected] or 02841765489.