It was a busy working bee today with potholes filled, gutters cleaned out and culverts unblocked. As usual for this time of year, there was plenty of weeding and pruning - especially at the Pembroke Rd entrance. (Must get that sign straightened though... )
Two trees were replanted to replace dead and dangerous trees removed last May.
We have a sick Red Oak needing attention
At the Pembroke Road entrance to Bickleigh Vale Rd outside Hurst, the Red Oak (Quercus rubra) is looking very unwell. After it's winter hibernation, there are leaves on the bottom half but the top half is bare. Perhaps it's getting attacked by possums or perhaps the dry winter has affected it - we're not sure and are seeking expert advise as to what's the best thing we can do to help it thrive again.
Two more dead trees identified for removal
A beautiful day for us and, surprisingly, there wasn't much work needed this time - mostly road maintence. A team of enthusiastic labourers aged from 5-y-o to 65-y-o, shovelled into a trailer, gravel that had been washed from the road into the gutter. This was also time to drag out our custom made "spikey pole thing", which lives on the roof of Maryann's shed, and clear the gravel and roots out from he culvert under Downderry's drive.
Next, we carted it all down to the turning circle where the gravel was a bit light-on. There an even bigger team emptied the trailer and spread the gravel around. Looks pretty good!
Whilst it was mainly road maintenance, Carole and Chris got stuck into some serious pruning of undergrowth outside The Spinney whilst Allan and Peter had another crack at tidying up the stumps in the Edna Walling Lane triangle. End result - looks good too!
We all finished off at The Barn for morning tea and a chat in the sun - what a great morning
(We didn't get a chance to take to photos at the time so they were taken a few days later after some rain.)
In August 2016 a number of trees and shrubs were planted to replace plants lost over the previous few years including a Stone Pine to replace the lost Bishop's Pine. The pine was planted outside Hurst and close to Pembroke Rd in place of the orginal tree and has been growing slowly but was overshadowed by nearby trees and bushy shrubs and, in addition, had been uprooted at one stage.
With the removal of the dangerous radiata pine in May 2018, the Stone Pine was transplanted to the open space created in the hope that it will survive and thrive in its new location.
Following the inspection and assessment by the Shire back in March, three of our larger trees had to be felled and their stumps ground into mulch The large radiata pine outside Hurst has left a hole in the streetscape but the Swamp Gum outside Wimborne and the Wattle in Edna Walling Lane much less so.
After removal of the pine...
After removal of the swamp gum...
After removal of the wattle...
Replenishment of the community mulch pile and plenty of firewood for the village... once a few of us chainsaw it up and split it. Could take a while to clean up Devon Cottage's drive!
An army of rakers to clear the road and gutter of autumn leaves today. Potholes filled with the gravel from the gutter too and all along the roadside was weeded. Judicial pruning to keep roadside visibility. It looks great - amazing what a couple of week's of wet weather can do to bring it all back after the dry summer and early autumn! Finished up with morning tea in the warm sunshine at The Barn.
We recently noticed two of our larger trees in Bickleigh Vale Road - the pine outside Hurst and the gum outside Wimborne - had big cracks in them and could present a danger to passers by and properties so these were referred to the Shire for assessment along with the dead wattle in Edna Walling Lane. The arborist's report confirmed our fears and the trees need to be removed.
So - these are the "before" photos...
Radiata pine outside Hurst
Swamp gum outside Wimborne
Wattle in Edna Walling Lane
With quite a few people away from Bickleigh Vale for the day, we focused on a few areas rather than the whole road.
From the Lane to the turning circle Karyn and Chris raked up the leaf and bark debris created by recent strong winds. The original Sonning northern boundary post and rail fence (now Abbotsley boundary) was lifted from its side where its been lying for many years and held in place with star pickets. With a bit of weeding and light pruning to keep the road clear, It all looks much tidier.
Fred, Allan and Jan tidied up the 'triangle' and removed an old, disused and obscured metal arch from the roadside verge outside Whilstlewood before Allan demonstrated his pole sawing skills to clean up some of the dead wood along the lane.
Josh got stuck into the dead wood on the Bickleigh Vale arch cotoneasters - much better than them falling on someone or their car! A bit of light prune of the more intrusive shrubs to keep them off the road and then off to Devon Cottage for morning tea to finish up.
As well as the usual tidyup along the road, there were three bigger jobs we tacked this time:
The triangle makover - seven of us with cutting implements and a big trailer load off to the tip at the end. We found some gems under all the marauding top growth. Next - a few more plants for the gaps
When the Roadside Vegetation Management Plan was but in place in 2010, Friends of Edna Walling signed up for leading maintenance of the streetscape though replacement of large trees that have to be removed when they die or become an obstruction.
One of our Golden Rain wattles (Acacia prominens) at the north-east end of Bickleigh Vale Road had to be removed in July 2012 when it leaned too far into the road and two others died and were removed in September 2014.
It's taken us a while to find a source of replacement trees or the same variety but we finally got there and found three in 150cm pots. Since the original trees were removed, the stumps remain and other plantings have taken place so the new ones couldn't go into exactly the same spots but the end result should faithfully reproduce the look and feel of the streetscape which is what we set out to do.
Of course, we now have to wait 10 years for them to grow!
Tree #1 - Southern side of Abbotsley entrance
Tree #2 - Northern side of Abbotsley entrance
Tree #3 - Northern side of Abbotsley entrance
To our dismay, late in the day on Tuesday, the Coastal Tri Tree (Leptospermum laevigatum) that formed one half of the iconic arch in Bickleigh Vale Road outside The Shielan and Mistover developed a serious lean across the road and had to be removed overnight.
The Arch as it was in May 2016...
Friends of Edna Walling at Bickleigh Vale Village