Barking Mad15th January 2014 • In The Garden • Stephanie Donaldson
My tame tree surgeon delivered a heap of fresh oak chippings a couple of days ago. His tipper truck couldn’t access our drive so it was dumped on the pavement. It had to be moved, but with no one available to help, it was down to me. There was nothing for it – I took the radio out, tuned into Radio 4s afternoon play and surprised myself by moving the entire load in just over an hour. Since then we have spread about half the load on the paths and in front of the compost heaps and bagged the rest up to compost for several weeks before it’s spread under shrubs and trees in the woodland part of the garden. It used to be much easier when I was able to buy ready-composted bark (my supplier no longer delivers here) but even though it’s a bit of a palaver, it’s free and the garden loves it. Next year I will arrange an earlier delivery though, so that I can get it spread before the bulbs start poking through. Tree surgeons are generally more than happy to find someone to take the chippings off their hands, so if you have a woodland garden and space to stack the load while it composts down it is worth considering. Just check that the chippings are from a disease-free tree.