Planting a Tree
Planting a tree with your children can mean so much more than just adding an attractive feature to your garden – it's an opportunity to 'put something back’ into the environment and encourage birds, insects and other creatures into your habitat.
The garden is a veritable wonderland for young children, with all manner of natural processes to watch, observe and delight in, from wildlife and wild flowers through to life cycles and growing patterns. And as children are naturally curious about how things grow and evolve, it's never too early to get them digging and planting. Encouraging an interest in the environment through sowing seeds and cuttings is a fun and educational activity – and one that has wide reaching benefits.
Reasons to Plant a TreeTrees are often planted to commemorate something or someone. A lost relative or much loved pet can be remembered with a beautiful sapling, or the birth of a new sibling, a birthday, or a milestone such as starting school or taking exams can be celebrated and commemorated with a tree planting ceremony.
Choosing a TreeThere are many considerations to take into account before choosing your tree – don't just pick the prettiest one in the garden centre! Before buying, think about:
Your soil –Is your ground suitable for your intended purchase?
Size – How quickly will your sapling grow? Could its roots cause problems with buildings/out houses etc? Will its growth overshadow your garden?
Maintenance –Have you chosen a variety that needs specialist care?
Produce –Does your tree flower or bear fruit? What special care will this entail?
Community PlantingThere are many organizations who sponsor and fund community tree planting. The Woodland Trust, for example, have a scheme called A Tree For All which aims to give every child the chance to plant trees and help understand more about nature and caring for the environment.
The environmental department at your local council should be your first port of call for community projects – they may even have a tree planting policy and existing scheme you and your family could get involved with!
Many schools have conservation areas these days, and planting and protecting trees and conserving and encouraging plant life will be something that is taught alongside other environmental studies. If your school does not have such a scheme, why not suggest one? To raise funds, you could approach local businesses to sponsor a tree in their company name.
The Ecological Benefits of Your TreeMaking your children aware of the ecological benefits of trees will give them extra pride in their own planting and a good grounding on how they can protect and preserve the environment through caring for existing trees and planting new ones.
Amazing Tree Facts!
- In a year, an average tree can remove 1 ton of carbon dioxide from the air.
- Through transpiration, a mature tree can pump 100 gallons of water from the ground and expel it into the air.
- Hospital patients are said to recover faster when they have a room that looks out onto trees.
- A family of four can get all the oxygen they need for a whole year from just one average mature tree.
- Trees help cool the earth down by cooling the ground and air around them.