Tag: hawthorn

Birmingham Becomes A Queen’s Green Canopy City – We Planted 1001 Trees to Celebrate!

At BTfL planting trees is our life’s work and we enjoy every single minute of it. The events are always exciting, it’s always joyful work, a great place to connect, laugh together, dig deep together and enjoy and celebrate everyone that joins us – today was no exception.

As great mornings go, well celebrated Birmingham becoming a Queens Green Canopy City with a ceremonial tree planting with the Birmingham Lord Mayor’s Deputy, Cllr Mike Sharpe, Cllr John O’Shea, Hayley Caruthers who is a Team England Athlete competing in the Common Wealth Games Marathon event. A beautiful QGC plaque was presented to the Deputy Lord Mayor – a very proud moment for Birmingham City Council and the city’s tree planting legacy.

   

 

We were joined by great supporters of Birmingham Trees for Life, including the Woodland Trust and 13 volunteers from the amazing Green S Welfare Group who come to join us to plant trees from all over the country, several times a year and are an absolute joy to work with. With them came BTfL’s youngest tree planter, eight-month-old Iknoor, followed closely by Talin, (two) and Sajda, (seven).

A BTfL first today!

   

The Woodland Trust brought 24 volunteers from Lloyds. Members of the same team who hadn’t seen each other properly since the pandemic, so while the trees were planted there was also lots of chatter and catching up to do.

Then came what can only be described as 30 bionic children from Yenton Primary School. Full of energy and enthusiasm and itching to get some trees in the ground. Once again the prospect of us planting 1000 trees in a couple of hours or even less, left their jaws dropping. When we saw how fast and furiously they planted the trees – it left our jaws dropping.

‘What trees are we planting today? We like the ones with the red roots!’ That’s Dog Wood,’ we replied, ‘more of a shrub than a tree, but just as good for the wildlife and the environment, along with Crab Apple, Rowan, Oak, Hazel and Hawthorne.’

  

   

When one pupil spotted, an acorn hanging off the end of his tree, he was so excited.

‘This tree is going to grow into a big oak tree, isn’t it!’

‘Yes, all thanks to you.’ We replied.

We explained that the second-best tree planters in the country after Yenton Primary School of course, are squirrels.

‘Why because they gather acorns, bury them for a late snack, forget where they buried them and then the tree grows…?’

‘Yes,’ we replied. As one student retorted, ‘well good for us and the planet that squirrels have bad memories, else we would have half the oak trees we do now.

He’s completely right of course.

And it proves that while nature always works for us, the human race has some lessons to learn to stop working against it – so say the squirrels, Yenton Primary School and BTfL of course.

  As the groups spread out across Pype Hayes Park, there was a hive of activity of planting, digging, stomping, chattering, there was a production line of children collecting spades and trees, then more trees and more trees.

And while there was so much going on it left the amazing Woodland Team – the absolute nuts and bolts of the BTfL project finding it challenging to hand out trees fast enough.

We always say if only we cold bottle the excitement and energy that we see again and again with the school children and volunteers who plant trees with us!

While our dedicated committee members Geoff, Sue and Viv, rallied around the groups helping them plant the trees, talking to them about trees, all of us enjoying every minute at this planting event.

So this morning was a morning filled with energy, smiles, positivity, a collective challenge to clean up and green up the area with 1001 oxygen making, carbon dioxide zapping trees,  a strong sense of what community really means and when community really matters! Everyone became emotionally invested in trees -as if they weren’t already. A morning that everyone who joined us will go home and share with their friends and family this evening and tomorrow. A place everyone may revisit some time sooner – or later and point out the trees and claim proudly, ‘here are my trees!’ So a job well done – again.

And lets not forget a morning where our wellbeing was thoroughly worked on, as well left Pype Hayes Park feeling happier, healthier, more energised, revitalised and very proud.

See trees –  they never cease to amaze us more and more with each new day and for BTfL that’s a whopping 5478.633 days so far!

Please view the photograph album for todays event here 

A huge thank you to QGC, Birmingham City Council Cllr O’ Shea, The Deputy to the Lord Mayor, Hayley Caruthers, pupils and staff from Yenton Primary School, Green S Welfare, The Woodland Trust, Lloyds, Simon Needle, Geoff Cole , Sue Griffiths and Viv Astling from the BTfL committee, The Woodland Team and any of the public that took an interest  in what we were doing today.

Don’t Be a Tree Mugger – Be A Tree Hugger!

Space – it’s at a premium and lots of us want more if it. Whether it’s extending our homes, our gardens, our driveways, or wanting a better view – sometimes trees get in the way! I’m sure we’ve all heard the reasons for chopping down that one beautiful tree, ‘I need more space, it’s getting in the way of my drive, I hate cleaning up the leaves, that sap on my car is so annoying, those roots are out of control, I want to landscape my garden, its spoiling my view….’

Now just imagine we all chopped down one tree in our garden, ‘the flooding here is ridiculous, the air quality on my street is so poor, I’ve lost thousands off the value of my home, I’d love more shade in my garden, I feel so stressed out, where have all the birds gone, I live in a concrete jungle, my child’s asthma is getting worse….

It’s just one tree you say – what if 65.5 million other people said that too! That’s the population of the UK. It’s, ‘just one tree.’ Well that one tree cuts air pollution, absorbs carbon dioxide, provides oxygen, reduces flooding, absorbs toxins and bad smalls, provides a habitat and food source to wildlife, improves physical health, aids emotional wellbeing, provides shading, screening and cooling, acts as a windbreaker, increases the price of your home, aids local productivity and gives us something beautiful to enjoy.

Across the UK there were 27.2 million households in 2017 of these 22.7 million households have a garden. If every one of these households planted two trees each, it would total more than 45 million. This is about 3% of the total number of trees the Woodland Trust estimates the UK needs to plant by 2050 to reach net zero emissions – 1.5 billion. What an amazing statistic to be part of!

There are 7.7 billion people on the planet and three trillion trees, 30 percent of the planet is covered in trees, but half of the trees on the planet have already been cut down. And today, like every day, trees across the globe are being cut down at a rate of 500 a second – please don’t make it 501 and be part of such a terrifying statistic!

A single mature oak tree can absorb 50-gallons of water a day, a mature leafy tree can produce as much oxygen as 10 people need to breathe in just one season. A mature tree can absorb up to 48 lbs of carbon dioxide a year. Spending just a few hours under a tree or around trees can improve physical and mental health for up to three months. Being outside connecting with nature is a must for our health.

We need to be a good ancestors and nurture nature for future generations. Thinking long term is the key. Not our long term, but your children’s and their children’s long term future on a planet which needs millions more trees to be planted to ensure it is healthy and humankind has a future. So if you cut down that one tree in your back garden you are reducing your children’s, your grandchildren’s your friends, your neighbours and your own air supply – do you want that burden on your shoulders?

So, we say – just leave that tree and learn to love that tree. It’s not a burden it’ a blessing, only giving and never taking away. Furthermore, plant a tree because you will be doing everyone in the world a very big favour and what could feel better than that? We know what could be better – planting another tree!

Please, please, leave the tree in your back garden to carry on giving us all a better quality of life. The tree you want to cut down has most likely been there way before you arrived and will be there years after you have left. You don’t have to plant an oak tree, if you have a smaller space to work with why not plant any number of smaller beautiful trees.

Crab Apple– Add spring flair to your landscape, a wide array available that bears flowers in shades of white, pink, and red and produces orange, gold, red, or burgundy fruits. Many varieties offer exceptional Autumn colour and great disease resistance.

Japanese Maple– There are lots of small, slow-growing Japanese Maples to grow that won’t overcrowd your garden in a hurry. The foliage provides blazing autumn colour and grows in an attractive shape. Grow them in a sheltered spot, out of direct sun, or try them in a large tub.

Cercis– Commonly known as redbuds, these trees are grown for their spring and summer blossom, with some cultivars having dramatic bronze or purple foliage, too and will grow to 8m.

Ornamental Cherries– are perfect trees for small gardens. Their spring blossom is breath-taking and will benefit pollinators as well as being a feast for the eyes and is a lovely choice for a small garden, ultimately reaching 8m in height.

Hawthorn – is a wonderful choice for a small garden and one of the most wildlife-friendly trees you can grow. Native to the UK, it’s a caterpillar food plant for moths, bees visit the flowers in spring and birds love the calorie-rich berries in autumn. The species can reach 6-8m in height and there are plenty of cultivars to choose from.

Japanese Dogwoodis a lovely small tree native to Japan and Korea. In early summer, it bears masses of tiny flowers that are surrounded by conspicuous white bracts. When autumn arrives, the foliage turns a vibrant shade of crimson along with strawberry-like pink fruits.

Don’t be a trees mugger – be a tree hugger, plant a tree and wait and see, we guarantee you will never be disappointed.

And remember – a world without trees is a world without lungs and a world without lungs is a world with no future!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 (NB, We would only ever advocate cutting down a tree if it a diseased or dangerous always check with your local council before felling any tree in your garden)