It is the middle of winter and the Pinetum is definitely “resting”. Growth is minimal – even the snowdrops are only just poking the tips of their leaves above the ground. If we hadn’t been clearing around them, we wouldn’t see them at all. The robins seem to appreciate our efforts; we have noticed that more of them than in the past are following us around as we disturb the undergrowth and leaf litter.
We held our 17th AGM on Thursday 10th November. Before the meeting, there was a buffet supper which was appreciated by all. There was an art display of drawings, poems and craft items made by members and inspired by the Pinetum and before the meeting an archive video of work parties and general activities from 2008 - 10 was enjoyed by all.
On 19th November, Edward repeated his talk on how to identify conifers but this time with a more scientific slant for those who had some understanding of botany. Using some very informative handouts, he concentrated on how leaf/needle shape and the way they are arranged on the twig can be used to identify the main genera and species of conifer. We then went down to the Pinetum and looked at real life specimens and afterwards had tea and biscuits in the campus building.
Over the Christmas and New Year period, there were no work parties but, despite our lack of attention, the Pinetum has managed just fine, with no wind damage or anything else untoward.
In the last few months of 2016, quite a lot of carpentry in the broadest sense went on. Visitors to the Pinetum will have noticed an extension appearing on the side of the hut in the Entrance Area. We are delighted that we have been able to use our own wood to build it.
Many years ago, a large western red cedar (Thuja plicata) fell across the stream. It was still alive with its roots in the ground but it was blocking the riverside path. We removed the branches, cut the trunk into long sections and retrieved those sections from the stream bed:
The lengths of trunk were cut into rough sections using our Alaskan mill and then finished into planks and posts: