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Urban Orchard Project - tree planting day in the park

posted 10 Jan 2015, 23:24 by Nick Scott   [ updated 20 Jan 2015, 07:42 ]
We are delighted to confirm that Urban Orchard Project (UOP) has agreed to provide us with some semi-mature fruit trees, as well as the tools, materials, training and support (even insurance cover) to plant them in Holmewood Gardens park on Sunday 25 January, from 10am.
**Calling all volunteers**
We hope that many of you will join us on the planting day, Sunday 25 January. Some can help by digging, others can help by setting up a tea stand. Come one, come all. The event will also be great for children, who will be able to learn about the trees and their care, and come up with names for each one.

On the day, we will also work up a plan to ensure the trees are well watered and mulched over the first two spring/summer periods. A group of seven local residents received training from UOP and can handle pruning and identifying disease, though of course if others want to be involved in that we are happy to share the responsibility (Lambeth Council have also agreed to do their part to help us maintain the trees in future years).
We have no further obligation to UOP beyond the planting day, though they hope we will remain committed to caring for the trees; they would be happy to come back for additional info sessions (free) or if we are worried about the trees they can do a site visit to offer advice.
We would like to make a small donation to UOP after the planting day. The day's costs, including the trees, will be in excess of £2k which UOP covers. We would like to donate at least £200-250, which equates to 20-25 individual households giving a tenner each (many thanks to the 10 households that have already pledged). If you are willing to contribute it would be incredibly helpful if you could bring cash on the 25th inside an envelope with your name and address on it, and noting whether you pay UK tax (if you do, UOP should be able to claim Gift Aid on our donation), or contact me if you aren't able to attend on the 25th.
The trees themselves will be insured by UOP so if any die due to disease or vandalisation they will be replaced for free.
**The trees**
The trees will be approx 5-8 feet tall and initially be in metal guards (4-5 feet tall) to protect them. After one year the guards will be lowered to approx 3 feet, and a year after that can be lowered further. Eventually the guards can be taken out completely.
We will be getting:
x1 Damson (Merryweather)
x1 Gage/plum (Oullins Golden)
x1 Pear (Concorde)
x1 Apple (Devonshire Quarrenden)
x1 Quince (Vranja)
x1 Crab Apple (Butterball)
x1 Elder
Planting locations have been determined by UOP to give the tress the best possible chance of survival without compromising how local residents use the park (in other words, we’re not planting an orchard right in the middle of the field where residents play sport or enjoy a summer picnic). Trees will be planted in positions close to the fence perimeter where previous trees have been lost over the years. Several will be placed in the northern half of the park, with two at the pointy end, three along the easterly fence, and three along the westerly fence. One tree will also be planted near the bench where Cotherstone Road meets the park (close to where the gate blocks the road from traffic).
We were very fortunate to be chosen to receive this funding from UOP and are thankful to be working with them to restore some green to our much loved park.

We would also like to thank Graftin Gardeners who are very kindly providing us with free mulch to help protect the trees from animals and extreme cold, as well as to provide them with nutrients to help them have the best possible start in their new setting.