Tree planting: Downy Birch, Hawthorn, Hazel and Goat Willow

On Saturday the 13th March, we started fulfilling a long-held ambition by planted trees on the land!


With the help of volunteers, a mixture of 56 Downy Birch, Hawthorn, Hazel and Goat Willow whips went into the still damp soil. We planted a double hedge, with foot spacings with the intention of ‘laying’ the hedge in 5 years’ time. We still have 100 more to use.

The trees were from the Woodland trust and have been donated to us this year from ‘Wydle Edges’ project who had them left over from a November delivery.

I remember hearing my permaculture teacher’s mantra…

‘When is the best time to plant a tree? 20 years ago.

When is the second-best time to plant a tree? Now!’

Jon made the slit in the soil with his spade and then a perpendicular slit so they made a T-shape, Alex dropped the saplings in the middle, I came behind with some leaf mold from the forest floor and then Barney added the stake and plastic wrap around tree guards.

We watered them in with some soaked mycorrhizal fungi and hope that they will get a good enough start to be able to put down roots and get established before the heat of summer comes.

On Saturday night, I dreamt about trees and I feel a new relationship with them. I’ve climbed them, hugged them, sat against them, coppiced them, created things from wood and burnt it for fuel, fed the leaves to animals and now I’ve helped establish new trees. It feels like the loop is closing.

We have plans to develop the pasture with agroforestry tree lanes as it has been proved as the most efficient way to grow with multiple layers of grass and trees in the same space as well as creating more habitats for biodiversity. Now we have experienced how easy and satisfying planting trees actually is, I’m sure it won’t be long before that dream becomes a reality.

One of our rewards on the Crowdfunder campaign was to plant some trees, another was a ‘Black Grove Greens’ enamel mug. Here is our friendly neighbouring farmer drinking tea out of his.


We will be planting again and sending out a very public invitation in November 2021.

To volunteer in the market garden, or become a CSA customer for vegetables and eggs please email

Please see our website for more information and social media

@blackgrovefarm, @blackgrovegreens.

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