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Saturday, 5 September 2015

It’s never too late to plant a tree

Celtis africana (White Stiinkwood) planted in my garden in 2005

It’s Spring. The trees herald the change of season by bursting forth with their new foliage, many preceding the soft greens with breathtaking shows of delicate blossoms that produce the fruits and seeds which will be welcomed by man and beast alike in the summer that lies ahead. It's time to plant a tree.

But how many will last long enough to provide homes for birds and animals in their lofty boughs, or provide us with much sought after protection from the elements all year round? How many will bear fruit?

Around the world, over thousands of years, man has impacted on the great forests by felling huge swathes for living space, fuel, building materials and cropland. Mankind is continuing ‘the old, old story’ of what happens when forests are cut down - rivers silt up, the land turns into desert or scrubland; civilisations succumb to environmental degradation.

Somebody once said “The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now.” So how can we do our bit? Here are a few creative, low-cost ideas on how to get tree planting going :

• Plant a tree on your birthday.
• Plant one over the festive season, instead of spending your time and money in shopping malls.
• Give trees as gifts to show how much you care.
• Teach other people how to plant and take care of them.
• Save seeds; take cuttings. It will reduce the cost of planting trees. It may take a bit longer, but your patience will be rewarded.
• Plant a tree from a truncheon (small branch) taken from another tree. It takes a shorter time to grow a tree.

by Pat Featherstone, Soil for Life

You can find some info on how to plant a tree here.

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