Summer 2022We are now accepting pre-orders for delivery from September onwards for pot-grown trees and December onwards for bare-rooted trees.
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The scratch test

Customers sometimes report that they think their newly planted tree has not come out of winter dormancy. This is usually accompanied with a photo of the results of the "scratch test".

Unfortunately the scratch test is notoriously unreliable. It is easy to get the impression a tree is dead when it isn't. Conversely, it will not reliably detect when a tree has recently died. Furthermore, in order to make it a meaningful test you would have to scrape quite deep and over a reasonable length of bark - which is not a good idea if the tree is actually alive.

In fact the only reliable use of the scratch test is on a tree that has been dead for 6 months or so - it will then produce the right result, namely that the tree is dead.

So please do not use the scratch test. Instead just let us know there may be an issue - it is always best to contact us immediately about any issue with your trees, don't wait to see if it gets better on its own. Most problems can be solved if detected early enough. We will then probably ask you for photos of the topmost shoots, as our experts can usually tell if the tree is about to come out of dormancy or really is dead.