Friday, 4 April 2014

Prunus spinosa (Blackthorn) Survival Part 2

In September last year, I blogged about my first attempts at collecting P. Spinosa yamadori. The establishment technique that was first told to me by Simon Jones, is also used by Tony Tickle for his collected Prunus, and also I believe, Crataegus. I am not sure who can be credited with the original development of the technique as I have also heard of it being used in Europe, but I believe that Simon learned it from Tony. I have already shared the basics of the technique in the first post, whereby the newly collected trees are kept dark and humid inside black bin bags.

While chatting to Tony at the Swindon Winter Image Show, I was lucky enough to receive a full description of  the finer points of his technique first hand. I do not wish to appear all cloak and dagger, but I believe that Tony is planning to publish his technique soon and in the meanwhile, he asked me not to "tell everyone"! This Spring I have followed Tony's instructions with three Blackthorns - all of which are doing very well and have a number of healthy buds which have now leafed out - much better than my two buds last year! I also have a fourth Prunus which I planted in pure sphagnum moss. Interestingly, this tree appears to have weaker leaf buds, but stronger root growth, with roots emerging from along the exposed trunk.

Below are two of the trees that were established using Tony's technique, photographed as they were removed from the bin bags.

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