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1 - November 2020

Evidence of Autumn

As we head rapidly into the autumn of what has been the strangest of years, we see that many trees are entering one of their most flamboyant phases; a sort of last hurrah before they shed their colourful cloaks of leaves for the dormant winter period.

The word ‘dormant’ is derived from the Latin ‘dormiēns’, the present participle of ‘dormiō’, simply meaning “I sleep”.  So, while the lungs of the planet have a well-deserved forty winks, it means that we can quietly get a few things done, like planting them in bare root or ‘open ground’ form.

At Palmstead we supply trees in many forms including container grown, rootballed, coco wrapped and open ground (the latter, as I’m sure you’ll know, being the most cost-effective way to buy trees).  Whatever form you are looking for, with a wide selection of species available in many different sizes, Palmstead is your perfect partner for all things “tree”.  To help further we have put together a very useful explanation of specifications, sizes, and constraints which you can find here:

You’ll know you’ve found the right document because it helpfully says ‘…explanation of specifications, sizes, and constraints…’ at the top…


Like many of the guides on the Palmstead website it goes into far more detail than we can hope to convey here, also providing a handy ‘jargon buster’ for all those tree size codes (if you don’t know your SS from your SM).

There are of course many benefits to buying trees in all their forms from Palmstead, for example if you need to plant trees outside the traditional planting season.  However, if you have the time and the inclination to plan ahead, open ground is a great way to go!


If you continue the line and go back to the starting point you will also get the square meterage (or footage) – handy for ordering mulch, turf, fertiliser, top dressing or, for that matter, plants.

This also works on most types of tablet. Though there may be some variations on different devices, the principle is the same.

You can also save your measurements by doing a screen grab (Ctrl+Print Screen or Windows Key+Shift+S on a PC) then pasting into your app of choice. We used Microsoft Paint, but other brands are available...

This is also handy if you need any help doing drawings for planning projects.

Before you ask when ‘open ground’ season is at Palmstead (it’s in the ‘Trees and Specimens’ guidance notes in the link above), we first need to look at a number of variables that dictate when we start and finish lifting bare root trees.  We generally aim to lift between November and March, but as with so many things in gardening and horticulture (and if you’ll pardon the pun) it all depends on the ‘whether’:

• Whether or not it’s too muddy to get our machines out to the trees;

• Whether the ground will be too hard and dry;

• Whether the ground will be too frozen to lift them without causing damage…While you’ve been reading this it’s stopped raining, so you can now go back outside and prune the roses to prevent the wind rocking them to and fro.