With the weather still dreadful, a gap in the rain for a few days meant the water levels started to drain slightly – enough hopefully to get away with planting the two replacement trees. The Laxton’s Gage in the little orchard was replaced by a Belle de Louvain, and to keep a gage in the orchard we promoted the gage family to an old Greengage in the big orchard, replacing an Orleans. As you can see, when digging the hole it backfilled to a foot down; this is not surface water, this is the ground water not going anywhere! Every well around here, every hole dug, is around the 1-2′ below the surface, or 1′ above it in low-lying places. The ditches are about 1′ lower, where the water is running.
So looking at the hole, I decided it probably wasn’t really needed to soak the rootball before plantint. Terrible conditions to put a tree in, but in it went and all fingers are crossed for a more ‘normal’ year. I was also going to replace the Merryweather as it wasn’t looking too good, but having chatted with a chap from the local growers he said he’d hold out for another season as it may just have remained dormant in such a bad year. The wood inside still looked green. On that note, the spare Merryweather I’d already ordered was planted in a hedgerow, near a field gate, half way between us and the children’s friends at the north end of Arleston. So when they walk to see each other, in theory they should meet at the Merryweather tree 🙂