Hollow Tree OAK

One day i found a hollow part of a trunk along the Shropshire Union Canal. Somebody discarded it as no use for burning as the centre is half rotten and some of the wood was composted into soil. The idea to use it one day to plant it with a tree in it an old tree giving space to a new tree even feeding giving soil to the new tree. The hollow tree trunk lived for several weeks now on top of the roof looking a part of the small land-art garden.

the roof garden

the roof garden

The soil washed away during the travels but has been replaced once again with soil from a mole-hill and one of the small Oaks found her new home in it. Here it will grow for the next few months until we are back at the Shropshire Union Canal where she will be planted with trunk and all in the soil to grow.

the tree trunk

the tree trunk

From this came the next planting. An old tree trunk next to the Trend and Mersey Canal, a dead Willow. The last planting had a circle of willows around the Oak this time the Oak went into the Willow. Willow trees don’t grow old but do grow fast, at their end of life circle they become hollow and just fall over.

digging out

digging out

This Willow tree was wisely cut and left, it was a big tree with several stems. If you pollard a Willow it can become a good old tree but will also hollow out creating a brilliant habitat for wildlife while the tree keeps on growing. We saw many along the canals, they become real sculptures.

the soil mixture

the soil mixture

The Willow had a soft centre which i removed al the way down to the bottom and filled it with old coffee, tea and soil with plenty of stones for drainage. It felt like a sponge so soft and very wet, my arm was just long enough to come to the bottom. The little Oak went in, no need for water the surrounding tree trunk will act as a sponge while the rain can dribble away to the bottom through all the rocks. You can see the stinging nettle taking well advantage of the rotting tree-trunk. The nettles feeding in their turn the surrounding soil for any plant who comes along on the wind.

new tree in old tree

new tree in old tree

The Oak will slowly grow and become old, the tree-trunk will slowly but certainly rot away around the new tree. The soil can wash away from the bottom leaving some bare old roots but the Oak will grow on evolving in her own root sculpture. Before the root sculpture to appear many years will pass as nature has no haste. Around her some rocks were placed from the places she visited on her trip on top of the boat.

the rocks from the canals

the rocks from the canals

Sand stone from the Shropshire Union Canal, flint from the Grand Union canal from the Cassiobury park where one of her sisters grows now, a round pebble from the Coventry Canal. One pebble came from Trefin Beach the root of the bridge planting that I do.

tree sensation

tree sensation

Finally she got an inscription of tree sensations.

here we go again

here we go again

 

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HIDDEN

Today the first little Oaks went into the ground as a part of the Bridge Land Art Project. The acorn was planted last autumn, you read about it on this blog.

The little Oak in her pot

The little Oak in her pot

The last two months the Oak came along with us, on top of our NarrowBoat Wånderlust.
Two Oaks in this pot so it was time to plant one of them, even they only came up a few weeks ago.
It is amazing to see how much she grew already.

the plant and her root

The plant and the root

You can clearly see the acorn and how it sprouted out into a little baby tree.

acron

acorn

The acorn was planted in the soil of a mole hill and just near our mooring i saw a mole hill hidden under some green. It is at the edge of a beautiful forest park along the towpath.
The spot for this little tree.

het plekje

het plekje

The clearing began and the collection of rocks to keep the soil of the mole hill in place. While working some people past asking what i was doing, so I showed the little tree. Now this tree has some local people who will keep an eye on her to make sure she keeps on growing.

mount of rocks

mount of rocks

Around this area, you can find lots of brilliant flint rocks. The beauty of flint is the many shapes and colours it comes in.
In the early morning i went out in the dew to look for rocks and dew drops.
While looking i found this bizarre mounts in the middle of the forest. No idea why, no idea what, yet they are made on purpose. Somebody has been creative, helping me to find plenty of great stones.

hidden

One mount after an other mount of dug up clay, what else can you say than hidden confusion.

hidden confusion
from within she reappears
warm
with a tingle in her toes
no need to hide
or
—…..—
she looks back
hidden
confusion
never mind the muddy hands

Oak on rocks let her grow

Oak on rocks let her grow

There 4 more Oaks on the roof of the boat waiting for an other good spot. One of them will be planted with a circle of Willows, which are also on top of the roof.

 

MELT

sponges start
to crack underneath
feet
in the lee of ice golden sparks
emerge on eyes

spark

spark

distant morning M6
roars on like a never
ending journey
lets go down and stand still

broken root

broken root

underneath frost from the past
lays the dew of the
future
not showing what
eyes see
appearing images of illusory stillness
like
expectation falling from
rain
let the mind dream a broken
way

rain

rain

squaling frozen leaves
conceal tramping feet
when the sun hits the ground
it all falls in drops
cold
strings
through
wellies
curl the toes while hanging low

pointer

pointer

the bow churn the way
cast iron pointer
shivering realization
into the body
down the yellow rose
where
the oak grows out of the owl

flow

flow

 

while walking down the tow path on a early frosty morning
thoughts that wander

9 tiny OAKS

The best time to collect your seeds for planting trees for the BRIDGE LAND ART FOREST project is the autumn. You don’t need a small fortune to create a forest, take the time to collect and it will not cost you a penny.

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storm coming

Embrace yourself and go out, autumn weather has sun and rain – perfect condition for collecting seeds to grow trees.
When I went out today I was very lucky and found just what I was looking for. Tiny little oaks, which are not oaks yet but are sure to become oaks in the spring as the acorns germinated already.
It will be hard to grow oaks from acorns if you don’t find ready germinated acorns, trees seem to be particular in when they want to grow and the germination is the start. In them small seeds a true chemical ‘factory’  is hidden that reacts to the light and therefor to the weather. Trees can’t walk away so they need to germinate at the very best spot. Underneath a different tree or right in the middle of a forest a young tree has to compete for nutrition and light and the chance of growing is therefor little.
An acorn usually waits for birds or squirrels to pick it up drop it by accident in a suitable spot. Humans can take over the bird’s role and look in the right spots for germinated acorns.

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a collection of germinated acorns

At the edge of the forest or a hedge is the best spot, just look under fallen leaves. When you see tiny little roots coming out pushing the acorn open collect them together with some leaves and transport them in a plastic bag.

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the tiny root pushing her way out into the world
to become one day a giant Oak tree

If you are just as lucky as me you will find the perfect soil for planting these little beauties, at your feet in the form of a mole hill. The moles have done all the hard work for you by making the soil fine and pushed it up for you to collect. The soil comes from a lower level with a good source of nutrition not too much, not too little.

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mole hill soil

If you like to include some trees that feed animals and humans look for some wild fruits. While you eat the fruit you keep the seeds and plant them. It is a lot harder for them to grow so a good excuse is to eat lots of wild fruits; often they are healthier than their tame cousins. Autumn the time to build up that immune system ready for winter.

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damsels (wild plum)

Trees and plants can’t walk away from climate change effects and we see more and more uncommon diseases. The best remedy for this is diversity. So if one gets effected by a disease others will survive. Not just diversity in the variety of trees will help but also in their gene-pool. Many trees we buy are from the same parent tree as big nurseries take lots of cuttings and seed from one tree only and grow them on in protected environments. The result is 100% success and no waist but weak trees.
A good idea is to collect the seeds in one place and plant the trees away – even far away – from the collected place, so you create a more diverse gene-pool. Most of the oaks these days in the UK came original from Europe after the ice-age. Northern Europe was replanted by acorns from Spain as nature doesn’t take any notion of countries and their borders.

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planted acorns

To grow the trees any container will do as long it has plenty of drainage to prevent a swimming pool effect. I place the acorns on their sites cover them with a little soil topped with some leafs. Store them outside and leave them alone; just check they have plenty of drainage. A good idea is some protection with netting material like old panty hose or an old net-curtain to protect them from hungry mouses or birdies.
Now you have the whole winter to look for a good spot to plant them and to think about the land art you will create with them next year.

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*_*

The nine tiny oaks that I planted today will find their final spot somewhere along a canal in the UK. It is the begin for a forest made as land art, planted by humans with the help of nature in this case the help of an oak tree and a Mole.

I have made contact with the Canal and River Trust to work together with them. At the start of this project in May I had no idea that it would lead to planting trees along the canals whilst cruising.  Life can turn strange corners and you end somewhere you never expected to be. Every dark cloud has a silver lining sometimes in the shape of tiny trees.

Als je deze herfst lekker in het bos gaat wandelen kijk dan naar de grond en niet omhoog. Kijk uit voor die kleine eikels op de grond en zeker die eikels die al een heel klein worteltje hebben. Je hebt dan zomaar een heel klein boompje gevonden die jij kan planten als een onderdeel van de BRIDGE natuur kunst.
Bomen planten als kunst en het kost je geen cent echt niet.
Als je verder kijk dan vind je misschien ook nog ergens een mol heuvel nou neem mee die grond want dat is zwart goud voor de eikels.
Thuis bij de kachel en met warme choco maak je potjes van wat je maar leeg heb knip er gaatjes in grond erin en de eikels en  hoepla klaar. Zet ze lekker buiten met een netje er over heen tegen hongerige muisjes en nu geduldig wachten tot de lente.

under the black
lays the source of feeding gold
waiting as art

any questions please ask in the comments next to this please share when we have 1000 people with 9 tiny oaks we have a forest with 9000 oaks

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yes i did get wet but look what came with the rain