I can remember when I was little. I was messing around in the garden and we used to have an old sink that my Mum used to grow tomatoes in. When it wasn’t being used, it was left in the garden for me to play in. I was no different to other kids and loved a bit of messy play. I can recall finding this acorn and burying it deep in the soil and there I left it. I thought nothing of it.
Quite sometime later, neither of my parents were none the wiser about what I had done and they were quite surprised to see a small stalk sprouting from the soil. At this stage, they weren’t sure what it was and so they left it. Soon it became apparent what it was. Unbeknownst to me, I was growing my very own Oak tree.
Shortly after, we moved house and by this point, the tree was getting to the point that it needed to be moved. We took the young tree to our new house and planted it in the back garden. I watched this tree grow over the years and obviously, it got bigger and bigger. Eventually, it became obvious that it couldn’t stay where it was. The roots of a tree grow far into the ground and as much as we loved the new addition, we didn’t need its roots causing problems with the house.
At the time, my Uncle worked for the local council and so he got permission to plant the tree in the local park. It was a careful procedure moving the tree and we didn’t know if it would survive. I’m pleased to say that it did and the tree still stands there today. It’s a lot bigger and a lot prouder than it was thirty years ago, but it fascinates me all the same.
Who knew that a simple little act of planting an acorn all those years ago would result in something being created and lasting for all these years, and hopefully many more to come? I’m quite proud.
I told my Little Man this story and I have every intention of taking him to find the tree sometime in the near future. He thinks it’s great and has asked if he can do the same. Of course, I have said that he can. I just hope he is as lucky as I was, and that it grows as wonderfully as mine did.
At the end of November, it was National Tree Week and seeing as he is so keen to take on this task and I am obviously keen for him to succeed, I thought it best to look into the best way to plant trees. It’s important that he grows up to be mindful of the environment around him and this is the case for everyone, not just little minds, so I thought I would share what I’ve learned so far.
The best time for planting trees is Autumn or Winter, even for trees being grown in containers. The first thing you should do is prepare the site for planting. You should consider looking at the drainage, and loosening the soil so that it can be accessed to at least the depth of the root ball. Adding a type of organic matter can improve soil quality, especially if it is sandy. If the soil is waterlogged, drainage may be required and in this case, it may be sensible to choose trees that like a lot of water.
When it comes to positioning a tree in the ground, it’s important to not damage the root system, although spreading and trimming pot-bound roots is beneficial. Planting holes should be as deep as the roots but at least three times wider than the root system and it’s important to break up the compacted soil before planting.
After watering, you should make sure that the first flare of roots is level with the soil surface when the tree is positioned in the planting hole. A top-heavy tree may need staking and securing with tree buckles, most of which can be adjusted with the growth of the tree so that they are always secure. Avoid too much soil when filling the planting hole. Make sure that the newly planted tree has plenty of water, without overdoing it.
When keeping an eye the tree’s development, you should think about fertilising it the season after planting, pruning, and adjusting tree ties and stakes. Protection from wildlife may be necessary too, for this you can use plastic tree guards.
And then, watch it grow!
So now I’m all clued up on the best way to plant a tree to get the best results, I’m looking forward to seeing if we can make history repeat itself a generation later. Maybe our trees can eventually be together. How fantastic would that be?
Have you ever planted a tree? Did it survive or were you not so fortunate? How do you get your children involved? Let me know in the comments.
written in collaboration