Langborough Recreation Ground’s lime tree walk is not only an historical sight which adds to the character of the town but a site of huge biodiversity.
The 24 lime trees have been monitored over the last few years as many had started to shed branches. Soil samples showed no major concerns and branch loss was attributed to the lime’s intolerance to the recent uncommonly dry springs. A three step vitality treatment program has been recommended to preserve the lifespan of the trees. COVID-19 has prevented work this year, but the programme will commence in January 2021. The three steps involved are:
- A 3m radius of composted hardwood woodchip mulch will be applied to each tree, this will help improve moisture retention.
- A biochar application will be mixed with the mulch, providing an important habitat for microorganisms within the soil and a source of depleted micronutrients.
- An aeration process, where compressed air is used to combine the mulch and biochar into the top 0.3m of soil around the rootzone. This process has been used, with excellent results, by the teams at Kew Gardens.
The treatment will be trialed on 3 trees, and if successful rolled out to the remaining 21. Additional lime trees will be planted alongside this programme.