Through the Our Trees project the Trust provides trees, shrubs, advice and guidance on tree planting and after care for schools and communities. Thanks to a longstanding relationship with Western Power Distribution, we are able to provide trees, tree shelters and stakes for community schemes in Devon and Cornwall.
If you have an idea which involves planting or caring for trees or woodlands and would like some advice and guidance - or even some trees - or, if you or your business would like to sponsor or support Our Trees, please contact email@example.com.
Why plant trees?There are many good reasons to plant trees.Trees:
- filter pollution from the air, help recycle water and prevent soil loss
- reduce noise levels and summer temperatures in urban environments
- provide shelter from wind and rain and create shade
- can help mitigate against global warming
- can make a positive contribution to people's health
...because thousands of newly planted trees die from neglect especially in their first five years. The aftercare of trees is crucial to the success of planting schemes and should be as important as the planting itself. Providing that the trees are healthy to begin with and have been planted with care, the work involved in their maintenance need not be heavy or expensive and can be fun. Please spend a little time with your trees to ensure they receive all that they need to survive.
How to care for your trees
Weeding: weeds compete strongly with new trees for water and nutrients. Weeding during the first Spring and Summer is vital to promote health and growth and should be continued for at least the first three years. The best method for combating weed growth is to maintain an area of bare ground at least one metre in diameter around the base of the tree. This can be done by hand weeding, mulching or spraying with herbicides.
Mulching: a simple and effective weed control which also helps the soil to retain moisture. Many different materials can be used including well-rotted compost, woodchips, old carpet or mulch mats. The mulch should be kept away from the stem to avoid rotting and should be laid when the ground is wet.
Herbicides: the application of chemicals should be carried out by a fully trained and qualified person.
Pruning: remove any dead or damaged branches using a slanting cut close to the stem. This will reduce the risk of disease and rot.
Firming up: check to see if the wind has loosened the tree and formed a hole in the soil around the stem. Fill this in and retread the plant firmly.
Other considerations: repair and replace broken guards, ties and stakes if still required. Adjust ties if necessary. Stakes and ties should be removed as soon as the tree has developed sufficient root anchorage. For small trees this should be after about two years.
For further information on planting and caring for your trees please read 'A guide to tree planting and after care'.