Grown from seed and now fully 'hardened off' this Common Ash needs a home. Ash are hardy, robust and grow huge.
They're also very heavy!
So, where do we plant it? It needs to be somewhere that it can have a chance of maturing, undisturbed by developments. 'Rock Hill' near Hints village seems ideal. It may not look that promising from the map, but it is high up, accessible by footpath, and the area is already planted with saplings as a continuation of the 'National Forest', so it should be left alone.
Unfortunately the hill is also nearly 500ft, and I've got to lug a tree, a water carrier, spade and anything else up to the top! I'm pleased to introduce my faithful Sherpa...Jenny.
At the top, once my vision cleared and the palpitations slowed, I began to dig the necessary hole. There were some bad words said as my spade repeatedly bounced off the surface. It was like concrete. Luckily it was only a crust of 'bunter' pebbles and once through it got substantially easier.
These might look like something you would hang in a budgie cage, but actually the soil is a bit sandy up here and in its early years this little sapling will need this slow release fertilizer until its roots are big enough to cope. They remind me of those sesame snaps you can buy in health food stores. I am a bit peckish after all that digging..I wonder...NO, nasty!
All tucked in, and just in the nick of time, the wind is picking up and it looks like rain. Tethered to a firm stake by a degradable sleeve, I give it a final water and, that's it for another 200+ years!
The views up here are great. You can see for miles in most directions, and it's the best place for watching sunsets.
When little Alex and Chris are older this is where they can find their tree.
And because my 7 year old GPS isn't very accurate, look for this sign next to it. It should last, your names are burnt onto a 2 inch thick slab of oak.