The benefit of planting trees is huge.
To begin with, you probably know trees have this ability to soak up CO2 emissions. We need all the help we can get to do this, because carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased by over a third since the Industrial Revolution, & this contributes enormously to Climate Change. Don’t be down-hearted though, there are things we can do, one of them is planting a tree, & this is a great time of year to do it.
A few of the benefits we get from trees:
- Store water. Planting willow trees in my garden has helped soak up excess rain water & prevent minor flooding. If you’re wondering how I could fit them in, I chose Salix exigua (Coyote Willow) that reaches about 3 metres high.
- Trees provide food & shelter for wildlife.
- They’re good for our health & wellbeing. If my mood is low, a woodland walk always helps & hospital patients with a view of a garden are seen to recover more quickly.
- From a design point of view, they bring height & stature to a garden.
- They give a nice feeling of enclosure & screen views we’d rather not see.
- Fruit trees have obvious benefits.
- Deciduous trees remind us of the seasons, fresh new growth & maybe flowers in the spring & autumn colours.
November is a great time to plant trees because deciduous types are available now as bare-root trees. They also have the chance to make a good root system over winter before the rigours of spring & summer.
They’re cheaper than buying trees in pots, & they can grow more quickly because they haven’t been restricted by plant pots.
Bare-roots ( or root balled trees) are field-grown & dug up now. The roots are wrapped to stop them drying out, so no plastic pots are used. They need to be planted as soon as possible when you get them, so it’s best to have everything you need at the ready.
How To Plant:
Dig a good wide hole, wide & deep enough to settle all the roots in without squashing them. There was a big thing about adding soil improver/compost to the soil when I did my horticultural training. Apparently this is now unnecessary, the thought is that it encourages roots to stay put in the comfort of nice soil rather than venturing out to make a good root system. A bit like making a teenagers bed too comfortable. However, I always add top-soil/soil improver to poor soil.
Gently jiggle the tree as you plant, to help soil settle soil in between the roots. Firm the soil with the heel of your boot & water the tree well. The main thing is to plant the tree at the same level in the soil as it was growing in the field. You’ll see a change in colour on the stem, showing where it was above the ground.
Small trees don’t need a stake, bigger ones need one at a 45 degree. angle for about a year.
One more thing, a slight mound helps clay soil to shed water & a very shallow dish shape helps water stay put while the soil absorbs it.
Planting just one tree will help the fight against global warming, There’s strength in numbers people!
How hospital gardens help patients heal.
all photos Jill Anderson