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Plant a tree!

It’s one of the simplest things you can do to help wildlife and the planet – and if you choose a fruit tree you get free produce too. Trees can provide a bit of shade, shelter or privacy as well as providing food and a home for wildlife. But it’s worth giving it a bit of thought to ensure you pick the right tree for your space.

Which tree?
Choosing a native tree is a wonderful starting point and there is such a wide choice. Think about how big it will get eventually and how much space you have. Fruit trees are a great choice as you can get them in a range of sizes to suit all gardens, they flower which helps support pollinators and then provide fruit for you and your family! More advice from the Woodland Trust here.

Don’t have much space?
Consider dwarf rootstock fruit trees – these can be grown in containers so even a patio area could have one. Some varieties can be grown flat against a wall or fence and take up very little space. Most trees can be pruned or pollarded to control their size and shape.
– Native Trees for Small to Medium Gardens: Silver Birch, Rowan, Cherry, Hawthorn, Crab Apple, Hazel or Goat Willow
– Larger Native Tree: Oak, Beech, Small leaved lime, Field Maple, Alder, Wild Cherry, Hornbeam, White willow
Avoid planting ash due to ash die back disease.

Flowering Shrubs instead?
If you don’t think you have room for a tree a large flowering shrub will still pull in the wildlife, why not try: buddleia, pyracantha, viburnum, mahonia, spindle, guelder rose or cotoneaster.

When to Plant Your Tree?
The best time of year to plant a tree is when the roots are dormant as they are less easily disturbed by the moving process: typically, from mid-November to late March. Buy a seedling between 60-90 cm tall (a ‘whip’) for the quickest growth rates. Once you have your seedling, you’re ready to get started!

How to Plant
Here’s an easy to follow guide from BBOWT.

Have fun planting your tree and watching it grow. You will be doing your bit to increase tree cover in the UK and helping to tackle climate change. Thank you!