Did ye heel-in?

It is true that you learn something new every day. Today I learned the term heel-in.  It’s just as well too.  On the Calendar Road, we have been overwhelmed by the kind gesture from the Tree Council of Ireland who have donated trees to our planting project.  So far I have planted 140 trees! When the bare root trees arrived they came in three bags, two bags of birches and one bag of oaks. I had wrongly assumed that I had 100 birch and 50 oak but it turns out that we got just over a hundred of each. (212 in total – we have also planted two extra more mature oaks and one magnolia tree)

They don’t look well, the oaks.  I am planting some today and looking at their neighbouring birch who are settling in beautifully.  The birches are leafing and some even look to be slightly taller, already.  But the oaks look pale and weak.  I fear the winter that befell us last weekend may have damaged them.  They have been kept in their bags but I couldn’t keep them out of that frost.  We had minus 3 overnight last week, a shiver for May.

And now I have 50 more oak than I thought. I’m not even sure I’ll get all in the ground before they leaf.  So I was relieved today when it turns out I can heel-in.  That is dig a trench and deposit a bunch (they come in 25’s) this will keep their roots healthy and keep them protected until they are ready to be planted permanently.  Let’s hope it’s not too late.  In the meantime I will continue with the planting.  I have 75 oaks left to plant. It could be a long week.

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