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Monday, 24 December 2018

Perfect Parsnips



Parsnips are one of the best vegetables for winter with a lovey nutty taste and there are so many wonderful ways to prepare them. Heres a few I love.

Parmesan crusted Parsnips.
Cook the parsnips in boiling salted water until tender. Add oil to baking tray and sprinkle grated parmesan, polenta and mustard powder, heat for about five minutes and then add the parsnips, and transfer the tray to the oven cooking for about 30 to 40 minutes turning at least once.

Parsnip Crisps.
Use a swivel blade peeler to peel strips from the parsnips. Coat them in oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Place them in backing trays in single layers and bake for about 30 minutes until they are crisp  Grind sea salt over them and eat them hot.

Roast parsnips
Cut your parsnips into bite sized chunks and simmer in boiling water for about five minutes. Preheat your oven and a baking tray with oil. Remove the parsnips and add them to the hot tray, ensuring you coat them all in the oil. Roast for about 30 to 40 minutes turning at least once. Serve whilst hot.

If you do make the crisps then its worth making a lot at they are very moorish and I find they get eaten very quickly. You can make vegetable crisps from other vegetables for extra variety.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Five Signs Of A Struggling Tree




Trees are an integral part of any garden design and, aside from the occasional trimming of branches, they are also relatively low maintenance. However, trees - like any other plant life - can experience problems that will require action to resolve. In an effort to ensure you are always able to identify signs of ill health in the trees in your garden, below, we’ve put together a list of warning signs you need to be aware of…

#1 - Damage to the trunk

Wildlife can cause nicks and holes in trees, so small, isolated areas are not necessarily a cause for concern. However, larger cavities, patches of loose bark, or swollen areas could be a sign that the tree is struggling, especially if the issue is widespread across the entire trunk.

#2 - Fungi or mushroom growth near the roots

Fungus or mushrooms growing either on the roots or in the surrounding area is always a concern, even if the tree otherwise appears to be well.

#3 - Dead branches

A single dead branch does not necessarily mean that the entire tree is unwell, but could signal further investigation is required.

Identifying a fully dead branch can be tricky, but here are a few tips on what to look out for:

     Dead branches tend to hang low and, often, somewhat precariously.
     Bark will often be missing, and the branch may be a different colour to other branches.
     In spring, dead branches will remain as bare wood; if you can see any buds at all, the branch is still alive.
     In the fall, any deciduous tree will shed its leaves in preparation for new growth the following spring. If old leaves are still clinging to the branch of a deciduous tree in December, then the chances are that the branch has died.
     Fungus growing on any tree branch is a bad sign; even if the branch is still technically alive, it may not remain so for much longer if fungus is present.

#4 - Yellow or brown leaves

Obviously, some tree leaves change colour in the fall naturally. However, yellow or brown leaves during spring or summer are not normal, and definitely warrant further investigation.

#5 - A drooping canopy

If the tree’s canopy is drooping in spring or summer, this could be a sign of underlying illness. If the drooping canopy is accompanied by excessive leaf fall, then you will need to take further action.

What should you do if you notice any of these signs?

If you notice any of the signs above, the next step is to seek to identify the cause of the issue. There are a variety of different ways you can do this, ranging from consulting an expert to opting for an air spade investigation service to examine the tree’s roots and look for signs of common diseases. Realistically, professional assistance is the only way to both ascertain the reason for the issue and, if necessary, formulate a solution, so it’s best to avoid DIY fixes and instead place your tree in the experts’ professional hands.

In conclusion

Hopefully, the above guidance will help you to identify any health issues in your trees and, if necessary, ensure you are able to take remedial action that can guarantee you’re able to enjoy a beautiful treeline long into the future!

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