28 Sept 2022

Green Fingers: Do a bit for the planet and plant a tree

Green Fingers: Do a bit for the planet and plant a tree

The time of year is a good time to plant a tree

WITH all the talk about COP 26 and reducing emissions, readers may ponder what extra can they do? One way to help reduce our carbon footprint is to plant more trees. This is something that can be done by almost everyone.
This time of year is a great time to plant a tree in your garden. No matter how small your garden is there is a size of tree to suit you. I recently bought a willow (Salix gracilistyla ‘Mount Aso) that will have beautiful red buds in spring and it will only grow to 1.5 M or 5ft. It can also be grown in a pot. We have planted more than 40 trees in our garden over the last number of years and continue to plant more. Here are my instructions on how best to plant a tree.

Planting a tree
Planting a tree isn’t as simple as digging a hole and ‘plonking’ the tree into it. You need to consider your land, the climate in your area, what plants are suitable to your local area. However, if you take the time to think about these factors, you will be able to successfully plant and enjoy a tree or trees for years to come. For example, if you live on an exposed or windy site you would be better off planting native Irish trees. That is because they are more able to survive the sometimes-harsh Irish weather. Our native Trees in Ireland include oak, ash, hazel, birch, Scots pine, rowan and willow. These trees will have been growing in Ireland for over 10,000 years.
Before you start digging the hole to plant your tree, measure the plant’s root ball or pot size. This will tell you how deep you need to dig the hole. Using a shovel or spade, dig the hole in which you’ll plant your tree. You want to make sure that it is large enough to accommodate the tree’s size and give it plenty of room to grow and take root. If the earth around the tree is broken up it will make it easier for tree roots to grow through it.
Dig a hole that is 20 – 30% wider and about as deep as the root ball. This will give the tree enough room to fit and allow fresh roots to grow without stress. Once the tree is planted you can use the soil from the dug hole to back fill the hole. It’s no problem to push this soil in around the base with your boots to get it level. Then sit back and watch it over the years to grow and grow!

Contact James

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