The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Growing => Gardens => Topic started by: Kitchen Cottage on January 02, 2014, 07:19:11 am

Title: My Sad Trees
Post by: Kitchen Cottage on January 02, 2014, 07:19:11 am
When I moved in 7 years ago, in a flush of excitment, and without any planning, knowledge or foresight,  I planted 3 trees....

a quince in my front paddock which has done beautifully,

a Victoria Plum in my front garden, shaded by other trees and which hangs grimly to life

a Camellia outside my front door because I had seen a house with one in full sunshine and it looked beautiful.

I am happy with the quince  ;D

I live in Essex clay

My questions are

(a) Is it too late to move the Victoria Plum to the paddock.  Its not grown since it was put in (its about 4 foot tall) and there is no point it staying where it is.

(b) The Camellia (after a few sheep ravages is also not thriving.... what would she like, apart from some stock fencing to prevent damage... to give her a growth spurt.  We are NOT well drained, but the other Camellia was also in Essex clay (it was on a property I was guzumped on)

Any thoughts would be gratefully received.
Title: Re: My Sad Trees
Post by: darkbrowneggs on January 02, 2014, 08:51:57 am
Ohhhh .... its like being on Gardeners Question Time

You could move your little tree, but do it as soon as possible, take as much root ball with it as you can, stake it well and keep it watered throughout the coming season when the weather is dry.  Victoria Plums aren't as easy as they once were as the stock has deteriorated over the years.

Camellias are woodland plants so like a peaty gritty sort of soil and  generally like a reasonably sheltered position but preferably not full summer sun.  They are shrubs of deciduous woodland so like the early season light but not summer scorching.  They dont like to dry out at the roots and are fairly shallow rooted so  can do well in pots if you remember to keep them watered.  Often folk would empty the teapot tealeaves onto them (tea is a type of Camillia)

They are not keen on being frosted and getting sunlight at the same time, so often a west wall can be good.

Sure there will be some experts with more advice on soon.
Title: Re: My Sad Trees
Post by: HesterF on January 02, 2014, 06:28:04 pm
How acidic is your soil? The only thriving camellia I've ever had was in London on slightly acidic soil (and I did nothing to it, it was just a happy little tree). I'm now on clay over chalk which I think would be a death knell for it.

Certainly worth trying to move the plum. You've nothing to lose by the sound of it. Make sure you keep the base clear of grass as well. Do you know what root stock it was on? That will affect it's eventual size but whatever, you would expect to have seen some growth!

Yay for quinces - I've got a baby that is far from its ideal environment so I have my fingers crossed (first year here has gone well but we'll see longer term).