Massaria found in Montpelier Square

A large branch viewed in cross-section showing extensive damage by the massaria fungus.
Click to enlarge

One of the Plane trees has had a large branch removed after massaria was spotted during an inspection in late February. The offending branch was removed and all our other planes trees were promptly inspected but received the all clear.

Massaria is a fungus that attacks London planes trees and can lead to branches dying and dropping to the ground unexpectedly, hurting people or causing damage to property. For this reason the spread of massaria is being closely watched throroughout London’s plane tree population.

Photo of New Catalpa

catalpa aureaTo commemorate the Queen’s diamond jubilee we planted a catalpa aurea is the SE corner of the garden. The plaque at the base was dedicated at the summer party held on Thursday the 5th.

The tree seems to be a fine specimen and it has certainly brought some colour to an otherwise dark corner of the square.

This tree should complement the Princeton Elm planted last year in the opposite corner of the square and also the silver birches planted in Spring in the NE corner.

Autumn Planting continued… Trees

The time for final decisions on tree planting is definitely upon us. Planting now will give any new trees the best chance for a full growing season next year.

The original plan called for a Princeton elm to be planted in the NE corner where it would be very close to the maturing Turkey Oak and the large Lime. A better suggestion was to develop the area based on the silver birch that’s already in place.

We will plant 4 more silver birches to fill the gap and create the effect of a ‘drift’ of these elegant trees. The exact site for each tree will be decided when they are in hand. One will most likely go where the Cyclamen is now, the white flower set at the base to reflect off the silver birch bark. We are confident that they will add light and interest to a relatively dark area of the square.

We will still plant a Princeton Elm on the north side of the square but our focus is now on finding a suitable site to the west of the gate.

Finally… some photos of Autumn colour:

Autumn colour from one of our acers

Autumn Planting and Future Plans

Jean and Maz at work
Jean and Maz putting finishing touches to the main flowerbed

A few of the changes planned for Autumn:

  • Thin out the main flower bed, dividing and transplanting where necessary. Plant a section of purple Heuchera to add contrast.
  • Wildlife Area: Plant 4-6 more small birches to create the feel of a natural looking glade. Add to existing planting with nectar rich and berrying plants to encourage a diverse insect population. Move the Viburnam to the edge
  • Allow the Hyrdangeas by the south gate a season or two to establish and intersperse with 3-5 acers
  • Add a third large fern, to be grouped with the other 2 in the south plant bed
Winter Planting
Dark coloured heuchera planted in the main flower bed