The best time to plant deciduous trees is during their dormant period and, in the northern hemisphere, this is in the months ahead.
Pehaps you are thinking about planting a tree and here are some of the benefits.
- Trees absorb carbon. Recent reports on planetary geo-engineering highlight the importance of mass tree planting to combat CO² emissions – though we are talking in millions here, yet we can all do our bit.
- Trees produce oxygen – a mature leafy one can supply enough oxygen for a year for 10 people to inhale. One acre of forest absorbs 6 tonnes of carbon dioxide and gives out 4 tonnes of oxygen.
- Trees act as windbreaks; properly located trees can reduce wind velocity and the accumulation of snow.
- Trees reduce soil erosion; their roots bind soil to sloping land.
- Trees help filter noise pollution; they reduce the intensity of sound waves considerably and muffle noise.
- Trees absorb and store rainwater and help prevent storm water run-off.
- Trees provide shade and, particularly in cities, can counteract the heat effect of pavements and tall buildings.
- Trees provide wildlife habitats.
- Trees have cultural meaning; in pagan times, the oak and the ash had special meaning for druids. Many cultures have myths based around trees. In Ireland, many early Christian sites are associated with oak groves, probably because of their earlier pagan significance.
- Trees are beautiful.
Bulbs, perennials and shrubs all have their moments of glory, but it is in Autumn when we really take notice of our deciduous trees.
That last blaze of glory before the winter sets in.
As daylight shortens, the water and mineral uptake in leaves is reduced; chlorophyll decreases and the leaves lose their greenness and take on the characteristic hues of yellow, amber, red and brown.
When is the best time to plant trees?
The saying goes, “The best time to plant trees is 30 years ago; the next best time is now.”
Use the last days of autumn to look around at trees that you like or are doing well in your neighbourhood. Think about the eventual size of the tree you are hoping to plant. Deciduous trees are entering their dormant period when they shed their leaves so this a good time to plant them .. later in winter the ground may be too hard to dig but you could wait until late winter/early Spring if you prefer. By planting from late Autumn to early spring you are giving your trees the best chance of plenty of rainfall.
How to plant trees.
Prepare as wide an area as you can around the proposed site by removing weeds, digging the area thoroughly to improve drainage and adding compost. Prepare the hole for the tree – it should be at least twice the width of the pot the tree is in but no deeper than the roots. The RHS advise that planting trees too deep is a common cause of tree death. They also recommend not adding organic matter to the planting hole as it may cause the plant to sink and discourage the roots from venturing further into the soil. Remove the tree from the pot, tease out the roots and fill in the hole. Firm down the soil with your foot . Drought stress is common so irrigate well during dry spells.
If you do need advice on choice of tree or where to place it, Jardin can help.
You can email us here : firstname.lastname@example.org
(All photography mine; feel free to use any of Jardin’s images but please credit and link back)