Heavy Plant Crossing….

If anybody has ever visited Knole they would surely have visited the Orangery.  This is a fantastic space located next to the Visitor center on the south side of Green court.

Moving on out before the BIG prune!

One of the main features of the Orangery are the seven large lemon trees that have resided there for some years.  However a combination of the damp and cold conditions in the winter and the lack of direct sun during the summer have resulted in some very sick trees!  They have become infected with a variety of pests such as aphids,

Soft scale – just like cotton wool in miniature

mealy bugs, soft scale insects and red spider mites, and this was leaving a black sticky residue on the planters and the floor and generally giving the trees a very poor appearance.

Pesky Red spider mite enjoying a meal

A couple of our hardworking volunteers have been fighting a losing battle to restore the trees back to health and so the decision was taken to call in  the Nurseries who originally supplied the trees for their advice.

They informed us that the trees needed to go outside for the summer as the sun and rain would help clean off some of the pests and mold and that the trees could be sprayed with insecticide to kill off the rest of the little blighter’s.

This was easier said than done for a couple of reasons:

  1. How were we going to get the very heavy trees out of the Orangery?
  2. Where were we going to put them?
  3. What were we going to replace them with?
Ready for the chop

Ready for the chop

A rescue plan was “hatched”  and  the nursery offered to move and transport the trees down to the Brewhouse tea room yard for a summer holiday,  replacing them in the Orangery with some large bay trees until the lemon trees return in the winter.

The team helped out by removing the trees from their planters and moving them to the far end of the Orangery so the helpful horticulturalists could prune them and load them into their lorry in the garden.  While the guys were loading up we got to work sweeping up the dead leaves &  scrubbing the sticky goo from the planters and floor ready for the replacement bay trees.

Beautiful bays

Steven scrubs the stone floor to remove sticky sap

Once seriously pruned and loaded the trees round to the Brewhouse yard where placed in the yard.  After a good dousing in water we left them to their own devices.  Wyevale will come back each week to spray, fertilise and check on the condition of both the lemon trees and the bays.  If weather conditions are good then they should start to recover in 6 – 8 weeks.

now that’s one serious trim!

We wish them a speedy recovery!

We would like to thank Wyevale Nurseries for all their help and advice.

Jo, Marisha, Steven and the team

** Click on images to enlarge **

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