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Plant a tree and make a difference to the environment

With global warming ever more in the headlines you may be wondering if there’s anything you can do extra to help the environment. Well, aside from recycling, installing your own renewable energy sources, ensuring your home is energy efficient and buying an electric car, there is a simple thing you can do that is long lasting and will make a difference, and that’s to plant a tree in your garden.

From when we were young and learning the basics of biology, we all learnt that trees are essential to life. We are probably all aware that without them we would not be able to breathe but did you also know that they provide essential energy-saving shade that helps reduce global warming and they build soil, helping to soak up stormwater, reducing the risk of floods. You can read this BBC article for further information: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-35777927

As a race we are cutting down over 50,000 square miles of woodland every year and already half of the trees on the planet have been removed, so why not do your bit and plant some trees in your garden.

Here’s a few ideas to give your garden a new tree look!

When and how to plant

Autumn is a great time to plant trees and shrubs and indeed anytime up to April but do be careful not to plant in waterlogged or frozen soil. Make sure you prepare the site you will be planting in by loosening the soil in and around the wider area of the hole you have dug. You can also incorporate organic matter to improve soil structure on sandy or heavy soils.

Make sure you read the planting instructions on the plant you have bought to ensure you are planting in the correct area and your soil type is correct for your plant. Make sure you do not plant your shrub too deeply as this can result in tree death. If needed make sure you protect your plants from mice, deer and rabbits. If you’d like to ensure you can see the tree from your window, open up your window shutters and view the area before you plant.

Trees for small gardens

If you think your garden is too small for a tree, think again! There is a wealth of trees that even on maturity won’t reach a height of 30ft. You can also choose a fastigiate tree which means it will grow upright or columnal in form, therefore casting little shadow and take up little room on the ground as it has a small base. There are also trees suitable for smaller gardens that offer year-round interest such as the Paperbark maple, Robin Hill and Coral Sun which flowers beautifully in summer.

Summer flowering trees

If you’ve always been put off of trees because they generally flower in spring, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to here that there are a wide variety of trees you can choose from that will give you blooms and colour throughout the summer. Why not take a look at the Koelreuteria Paniculata or if you have trouble pronouncing that one, try a Stewartia Pseudocamellia and enjoy branches laden with large camellia flowers in the summer months.

Visit the RHS website for further advice: https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=107

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