Trees are majestic and wonderful things. They have a wide variety of social, communal, environmental and economic benefits.

  • They mark the seasons;
  • In one year an acre of mature trees can provide enough oxygen for 18 people;
  • They provide food - for us, and for wildlife;
  • They provide wonderful natural shade, and cool the earth by cooling down the ground and air around them;
  • They give us a feeling of peace, tranquillity and calm;
  • Shade from trees slows water evaporation from thirsty lawns;
  • They provide a canopy and habitat for wildlife;
  • They screen unsightly views, enhance beautiful views, muffle traffic noise, protect us from wind and weather;
  • Property prices are increased by well planted neighbourhoods and gardens;
  • They aid recovery - hospital patients are said to recover faster when they have a room with a view of trees?

And that's all just scratching the surface!

There are so many good reasons why we should think about opportunities we have for planting trees in our gardens, and some useful planning to be undertaken before getting started.

Which tree?

Establishing that your soil is suitable for your chosen species is important, so check which species require which type of soil. If you don't know, looking around at the kind of trees that are thriving in your neighbourhood is a good start, but local gardeners, and garden centres will help.

Size is also a vital consideration - how quickly will your sapling grow, and to what size? Will it outgrow its position, and could its roots cause problems with nearby structures? Will it overshadow your garden and prevent other plants from thriving?

What do you want from your tree? Make a list of your priorities - for example, to encourage wildlife, for autumn colour, for year-round interest, for great shade for an area of the garden, to block an unsightly view. Then research which species meet your requirements. Check that your tree won't require specialist care that you don't feel able to provide!

When and how to plant?

Planting is best done in the autumn and winter when the tree is dormant, but avoid waterlogged or frozen ground. Dig a hole (retaining the top layer of turf in a couple of large pieces) just wider and deeper than the roots, and loosen the soil around the edges. Position your tree so that its interface with the soil will be the same as it was in the pot, and hold it in a perfectly vertical position while you press the soil you've removed gently over the roots. Compact it enough to make sure it's steady, but not so much that water and air can't circulate. Replace the turf, grass side down, and support your young tree with a stake.

Keep the area around newly planted trees well weeded for the first couple of years, and water well in dry periods.

No space for a tree of your own?

There are numerous ways in which you can get involved in tree planting - without actually planting one in your own garden. Here are some links to get you started:

The Woodland Trust is giving away trees to schools and communities:

The Tree Council is running a community tree project:

You can dedicate a tree in the Heart of England Forest:

If you need help with planting, ongoing maintenance, or tree problems and hazards, we can help. February is a great time to get work done before the bird nesting season that starts in March or April, and to get your trees in good shape before the summer.

We draw on 30 years of experience in all aspects of arboriculture, and our tree team provides the best in tree and shrub advice, planting, and maintenance.

  • Long term maintenance schedules provide reassurance that your trees are being looked after to the highest standard, and that potential problems are literally nipped in the bud
  • For those that require instant landscapes, we create new planning schemes and plant extensively using semi-mature trees
  • Prior to purchase of land or gardens, we inspect and report on existing trees, or advise on Tree Preservation Orders
  • We manage specimen trees, establish new woodland, remove tree stumps for individuals - and everything in between

Contact us on 0115 914 8408 / for advice and help.

Happy planting!
The Streetwise Team