Seedlings at Schools: tree planting season
The tree planting season has now arrived and I have been working with several schools during National Tree Planting Week, 26th November to 3rd December, to create new woodlands and help improve hedgerows.
Now we have had some days of frost the trees are starting to lose their leaves and are entering the dormant stage getting ready for winter. This is the best time to plant trees and gives them more of a chance to establish themselves before the spring comes, sap rises and the start of new growth.
The tree planting days have varied between frosty mornings with the grass sparkling in the sunshine to almost balmy days where all coats and jumpers were discarded once we started digging.
At Clifton Green Primary School in York we planted a new area of woodland in the corner of their playing field. At the end of the day it is great to see the beginnings of a new wooded area which will grow for many years and bring enjoyment to the pupils and a home to wildlife. The day was warm but the ground was hard in places due to not much top soil. The year 5 and 6 pupils worked really hard to get the trees into the ground and were rewarded with the site of their new wood appearing.
In Dringhouses Primary School, York, a few days earlier, the day was a typical winter one with frost on the ground and in the long grass. Here we were filling the gaps in a hedgerow that had been planted a couple of years before. We had to be careful not to stand on any of the trees that were already there whilst digging our holes to put our new trees in. The year 2 class who helped with this were great and by the end of the day the derelict hedge was looking a lot more healthy and ready to grow in the spring.
Most schools have now broken up for Christmas but will back in the New Year to work with the Seedlings in Schools project to plant more trees and take part in other woodland activities.
I hope for the trees and for everyone else that it is a clear, frosty and sunny Christmas time and New Year.
Merry Christmas to all!
The Seedlings at Schools project is part of Bettys ongoing Trees for Life work. Ian Johnson, Education Officer at Groundwork, has been busy teaching children about the importance of trees through hands-on woodland themed activities.