Plant Trees For Future Generations
This month I am supporting the campaign being promoted by Prince Charles and Dame Judi Dench to plant trees for the future.
A year ago I wrote “We Can All Save Our Planet If We Plant Trees”. At the time I had no idea how much resonance there would be now after the enormous drop in carbon emissions during the lockdowns due to Covid 19 pandemic.
Being an avid gardener my surroundings and the environment have always been very important. Slogans like “Go Green” and “Green Fingers” had no effect as I’ve always been like a stick of rock green all the way through. I had no idea just how much more aware I could become of my own outdoor space until this year.
During the lock downs, when a lot of us have been forced to stay home, to be able to step out into the garden or countryside and parks for our daily exercise has been vital. Little pockets of nature around us have been vital to our physical and mental health and wellbeing. The colours scents and sounds found in our natural surroundings help us to relax and unwind providing a relief to the unfamiliar stressful situation we found ourselves. A NATURAL Health Service recognised by many as an alternative to costly drugs and therapies are found in nature and trees in particular are a great host for other living things.
Trees sculpture our landscape be it in a pot at the front door or the hedge rows and woodland. They reduce noise pollution from roads, provide a canopy of shade and absorb carbon dioxide producing a healthier and sustainable place to live.
Trees support an abundance of wild life, five star hotels for many species. One Oak Tree will support 200 different invertebrate species. Moths and Butterflies lay their eggs in the bark and when the caterpillars hatch they migrate down the trunk to feed on other plants.
Bees and Wasps nest amongst the smaller branches and are vital for pollination while Flies and Beetles important for recycling organic debris make their homes in the bark and are the food sources for many mammals.
Lichen and Mosses also grow on the branches while Bats make their homes behind loose bark and birds like Woodpeckers, Blue Tits and Nut Hatch all find cosy holes to roost. Squirrels build drays among the upper branches where Crows and Jackdaws also build nests. In the autumn the tree produces acorns another important food source for many mammals and when the tree sheds its leaves many species including Mice Rats and Hedgehogs spend the winter months sheltering in these warm cosy surroundings. One tree provides an ecosystem for many living things including us in which to survive.
I hope you agree that we all need to plant trees or be involved in tree planting schemes. If you bought a pot grown Christmas Tree this year that could be a start. After Christmas gradually acclimatise it to colder conditions by standing it in the shed for a couple of weeks or protecting it with fleece. Then replant into a larger container and it can then be used again next Christmas.
If you have a small garden or balcony many dwarf conifers and miniature grafted deciduous varieties like the Silver Willows and Prunus will grow very well in pots. If your garden is moderate or large the choice of varieties is then dictated by the ultimate size, position and soil conditions.
It is always good to plant native trees like Oak, Hawthorn or Birch albeit more decorative or fruiting varieties. Alder and Willow are good in damp soils while Aspen and Poplar tremble and shimmer with the breeze. Crab Apple and Bird Cherries have scented flowers and fruits enjoyed by the wild birds and Hornbeam and Rowan are both habitats for wildlife during winter.
It is the ideal time of year to plant trees providing there is no frost in the soil so please choose a tree large or small and support the campaign to provide a better environment for future generations to enjoy their surroundings.