Ian’s garage night saw me once again have been at the receiving end of advice freely handed out by that old sage Phil. The hawthorn featured in this post is really very old but was collected from a field in which a pair of donkeys grazed for years. They grazed this tree and used it as a scratching post and as a result the bark on the trunk is very, very smooth. I have looked at it many times and wondered if the smoothness was not just a characteristic of this particular tree. “Probably not” I’m told.
How to rectify the problem. Cover the bark with plenty of sphagnum moss which is kept moist at all times. The tree will try to send out roots into the moss but by removing it every two or three weeks the emerging roots will be discouraged but the bark will swell and crack gradually during the entire process. For me this is definitely one to watch.
The tree itself has never amounted to anything significant and the general view of those present at the garage night was that it was too tall for the thickness of the trunk and also lacked taper. Phil suggested and completed an air layer. He also offered me 20 quid (pounds) on the spot for the air layer so I reckon it must be worth at least £100.