Today, RiverLife volunteers propagated around 250 cuttings using suckers from wild aspen root cuttings collected from the Pentland hills back in March. You can read about that day here: https://www.river-life.org.uk/aspen-root-collection/.
After collecting the root cuttings from the wild stock, we buried them in compost and left them in a shady corner of Polbeth and West Calder Community Garden. Three months later and we had plenty new growth to play with – from soft 1cm shoots to well established 15cm behemoths.
We potted up a mixture of softwood cuttings in cell trays and larger cuttings (including part of the original root) in individual pots. Plastic bags were supported over the cell trays using willow rods to keep the softwood cuttings moist.
Many of the original root cuttings will continue to produce suckers for the rest of the growing season so they were then bedded down under compost to work their magic once more. The trees produced from today’s session will go on to be planted next to local water courses, improving biodiversity, stabilising banks and future-proofing our catchment – the beavers are coming and they’re hungry.