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Posts Tagged ‘national tree week’

Next week is National Tree Week (Saturday 28th November-Sunday 6th December), it is organised by The Tree Council who’s aim is to inspire thousands of people across Britain to join forces and plant upwards of a million trees, it is the UK’s largest tree festival and this year celebrates its 40th anniversary.

Tree planting activities and workshops are taking place around the country by Schools, Community Groups and The Tree Council’s member organisations, details can be found on The Tree Council’s interactive ‘Near You’ map.

With Christmas just over 4 weeks away, we begin thinking about buying the perfect Christmas Tree, Christmas is not complete without a tree, they are the focal point in the home, lots of fun to decorate, and with presents underneath magical and very exciting, the scent from a real tree is amazing.

Christmas Tree

Why not have a go at growing your own Christmas Tree?

If you have space in your garden, school garden or allotment why not plant some young Christmas trees which will take pride of place in your home/school in years to come, small pot grown trees can be bought from nurseries and garden centres the most common types are:

Norway Spruce (Picea abies): The Traditional Christmas tree with a good scent, but quick to drop its needles.

Nordmann Fir (Abies nordmanniana): Denser branches and dark green needles that are very slow to drop.

Blue Spruce (Picea pungens Glauca group): Blue needles, more prickly than other trees, holds its needles better than the Norway spruce.

Fraser Fir (Abies fraseri): Good needle-holding properties, a lovely pine fragrance and the regular shape of a Norway spruce.

Plant your tree to the same depth as it is in the pot, water in well and remove any surrounding weeds which can inhibit growth, keep weed free for the first years whilst it is small.

Christmas trees need very little training when grown outdoors, aim to maintain an attractive cone shape, removing any shoots that spoil the silhouette or any strong upright branches that compete with the main stem or ‘leader’. Every year the tree will produce a set of lateral branches and a leader, during the first years the tree will not produce much growth, but once established in subsequent years you can expect  approx. 14-16”. Prune away any dead, diseased or dying branches, the tree will naturally shed some needles. Christmas trees prefer a slightly acid soil, the Nordmann Fir will cope the best if you garden on chalk.

If you have not got the room to plant young Christmas Trees they can be grown on in pots, simply repot every year into a larger pot, bring indoors for Christmas as late as possible, place in a cool position and keep well-watered, eventually there will come a time when the tree plus pot will become too heavy to bring indoors so trim up with outdoor decorations and enjoy it through the window.

Christmas trees grow slowly; growing your own is a long term project, plant one or two each Autumn/Winter so that you will have one ready to cut every Christmas in years to come.

I am getting excited about Christmas already but I will have to wait another few weeks before I buy my tree.

Gill

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National Tree Week (29 Nov – 7 Dec) begins on Saturday and with it the start of the tree planting season, it was launched in 1975 and is the UK’s largest annual tree celebration inspiring upward of a quarter of a million people to get their hands dirty and plant a million trees.

Trees make an attractive focal point in any garden, they are havens for wildlife too, providing homes and food for caterpillars (leaves), insects (flowers, leaves), beetles and larvae (trunk, rotting wood) these in turn are food for animals and birds especially newly fledged youngsters or hungry chicks still in the nest, in Autumn and Winter their fruits/berries and seeds provide a welcome meal for birds and animals, trees really are a very important part of the wild food chain.

If you are thinking of planting a tree you will need to consider where you are going to plant it, how much space is available and how big your tree will grow when it is mature.

If you only have a small garden don’t worry many trees can be planted in containers, dwarf fruit trees are ideal they have stunning flowers in spring, colourful leaves in autumn and delicious fruits, if you are not sure which tree to buy, have a look at the label for more information, or ask the supplier, some fruit trees can grow very big.

Oak Tree

In Britain we have some very old trees, many are surrounded by myths and legends or were growing during famous and historical events click here if you want to learn more about these ancient trees and if there is one near to you.

How do you tell how old a tree is?

There are two ways that you can find out:

  1. Chop the tree down and count the number of rings found in the trunk, each growth ring represents a year that the tree has been alive.
  2. Measure the circumference of the tree trunk, wrap your tape measure around the widest part of the trunk, measuring in inches each inch represents the age of the tree (52” = 52 years) this method will give you an estimate of the age of the tree as each variety of tree grows at a different rate, firs and redwoods may grow more in a year, while others like cedars may grow less.

So why not plant a tree this week or look for an old tree, give it a hug, and see if you can work out its age (don’t forget your tape measure).

Love your environment

Gill

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