“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is right now….”
Right now is National Tree Week 2022 (26 November – 04 December 2022), celebrating all things tree! It is the start of the tree planting season, when bare rooted trees are removed from their nursery sites and made available for planting. Whether it is a single, statement tree or large scale planting of, for example, a new woodland, now is the perfect time to get tree planting.
Tree planting guidance
There is a lot of advice and guidance aimed at supporting those working with trees, from professionals to anyone planting their first tree. Advice includes how to select your tree or trees (i.e. right tree, right place), where to source, biosecurity measures, how to plant, and aftercare and maintenance. One important aspect to remember is that planting now gets your tree off to a great start but your new tree will need aftercare for at least one year after planting so care and attention next summer will be crucial to long term survival.
Find out more – a selection of resources:
- Tree Council: downloadable guide
- Woodland Trust: online guide
- Royal Horticultural Society: online guidance
- Arboricultural Association: Guide to Young Tree Establishment
- PlantNetwork: Tree Forum
There are events taking place across the country – in gardens, parks and woodlands. Check the website of your local garden, park or other green space to find out if an event is being organised. Volunteers are always being sought to help with tree and hedge planting and pruning – there will be opportunities over the winter months to take part in voluntary days across the country.
For events taking place in National Tree Week, there are webinars and resources available to enthuse, educate and share. A few examples include:
- Explore the Hidden Connections with the Tree Council – free online events
- National Tree Week educational and outreach resources – available here
- Trees for Cities events and resources
- Woodland Trust events
For other events taking place over the next few months, from pruning workshops to planting opportunities, as well as podcasts, here are a selection – but it is far from exhaustive:
- The Orchard Project events
- UK Tree Health Citizen Science Network tools and resources
- Tree Lady Talks – podcast
Working with trees
Recent initiatives, including the UK’s aim to become carbon neutral by 2030, are encouraging tree planting, particularly the development of new or restored woodlands. This has led to a demand for trees and tree-related expertise. Tree nurseries are being created across the country to ensure there are sufficient trees for local demand while there are lots more roles in forestry and arboriculture. So now is also a good time to explore a career working with trees. This need not simply involve training in arboriculture but can be general horticulture, working in orchards, propagating rare trees, or growing trees for woodlands.
Case study: Emmaus Cornwall are currently recruiting a Community Tree Nursery Manager. The role will oversee the development of the nursery site in St Austell, Cornwall and the provision of high quality trees across Cornwall. Find out more at the Emmaus website.
Sharing good practice
You can share your images of good practice in tree planting, care and cultivation with us on our social media platforms using #wonderfultrees.
Trees can be anywhere – like this city tree which has permeable paving and additional watering support after a very hot summer. But can we do better to protect tree roots?
You can join PlantNetwork tree events which are aimed at sharing good practice, the latest research findings and opportunities to network with other professionals interested in or working with trees. We run at least one tree-related event every year as part of the PlantNetwork Tree Forum, a specialist group open to all but focused on trees.