WITH all the drama during storm Emma it was easy to have missed out on National Tree Week but for those of you who didn’t realise this is an ideal time of year to celebrate Trees and plant some new ones for future enjoyment. This week I added an olive tree to the garden.
Whatever the size of your garden, make sure that you include at least one tree, preferably more. A tree will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and reverse the greenhouse effect. A tree will bring structure, height and texture to any space, even in the depths of winter. Chosen carefully, a tree will have something good to offer for more than one season, perhaps a combination of pretty flowers in spring and good autumn colour. Avoid greedy brutes like sycamore, willows and populars.
Japanese maples (Acer palmatum) are available in a wide range of different leaf shapes and colours. They all look great and many of them produce fantastic autumn colours but need a sheltered site.
Strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo) is a slow growing evergreen tree that responds well to pruning. It likes a well-drained soil, dry soil. It produces clusters of tiny, white or slightly pink flowers followed by attractive strawberry-like edible fruit.
Pick a small tree or choose one that can be pruned regularly to control its size. A tree can be used to divide one section of the garden from another or conceal part of the garden from the house. Buy a tree with a good strong leading shoot, a tree with more than one leader should be ignored as it will not grow to form a good trunk and head. Give your tree a good start in life by digging a wide hole, two to three times as wide as the diameter of the pot it is growing in. Plant the tree at the same level as the pot it is growing in, planting too deeply may cause the tree to die. In its first few years keep the tree well watered and weed free around its base.