Trees are beneficial to the environment for a variety of reasons.
Trees remove excess carbon dioxide from our atmosphere and convert it into oxygen via photosynthesis, contribute to transpiration, are wildlife habitat, prevent soil erosion and provide shade and shelter for livestock (and humans).
There's a lot to be said for trees!
It's important to nurture the trees we have, plant new and identify and protect naturally regenerating trees on the farm.
At this point it has to be said that the right tree, in the right place, is vital. The farm is surrounded by ancient oak and planting more is an obvious choice, but nature also highlights other species like silver birch, small leaved lime, crab apple and others.
Customers have contributed to two planting projects here and the National Park has also planted a small number of trees. Another Park scheme is planned for this winter 2021/22.
It's not a good plan to push trees into the ground and walk away for good.
There'll always be a failure rate in a planting scheme, but keeping that as low as possible is obviously preferable. To begin with a little soil preparation goes a long way e.g. removing stones that would prevent early root development but on an ongoing basis it's a good idea to provide wood chip to balance the soil to be more fungal than bacterial, a situation a tree will prefer.
Here tree protection is vital, so removing grasses from inside a plastic tube that could smother a young tree is an essential task. Wood chip also helps to control these 'weeds'.
Unlike natural growth I also do some trimming of dead wood, aiming to give each tree the best chance. In summer I also provide water to any tree that needs a drink.