National Tree Week - Saturday 26th November to Saturday 3rd December.

Monday, 28 November 2016  |  Admin

It is National Tree Week from Saturday 26 November through to Saturday 3 December and to celebrate it we have helped Ipswich School add a touch of authenticity to their production of Into the Woods, taking place on 1 and 2 December 2016.

There are many different aspects to Botanica, but perhaps the most unique is our Event Trees service. Through this we provide container grown trees to add a bit of rustic greenery to events and celebrations. We have provided trees for weddings, parties and corporate events, and more than one school play!

For Ipswich School we are providing some trees to add a really authentic touch to their front of house. After all, with a production set in a wood, and this being National Tree Week, what could be more appropriate?

And if you are thinking about planting a tree during National Tree Week, we would urge you to plant an English Native species or one that is genuinely English grown. There is absolutely nothing more fitting than choosing a specimen of English Provenance stock that is ideally suited to being planted in English soil. Sadly, far too many trees on sale in garden centres are imported, and this can lead to problems – none the least of which is the chance of the tree surviving and thriving. If you want to find out more about the importance of planting locally produced trees do read about it here 

Trees are so important to heritage and folklore worldwide– something that Stephen Sondheim was probably very conscious of when writing the music and lyrics for Into the Woods. Trees, and especially woods, are the source of so many tales and myths. In British literature, from Shakespeare in Macbeth to Tolkien in Lord of the Rings, woods and trees are at the core of storytelling.

And of all trees, certainly in this country, oaks are perhaps the one around which so many tales are told, and around which so many memorable events took place. Charles II reputedly hid in an oak tree at Boscobel House in Shropshire in 1651 to escape from Cromwell’s Roundheads, to mention just one oak tree in British history.

Oaks have had very practical uses too. In times of scarcity, acorns have been used as a coffee substitute. Rural folk many years ago used twigs from oak trees as toothbrushes (indeed the tannins in the wood do have anti-fungal properties).

Locally there are some magnificent ancient oak woodlands at Helmingham and Glemham Halls. The oaks at Helmingham are seriously old with some reputedly dating from the fourteenth century. Then there are the wonderful pollarded oaks in Staverton Thicks, not far from Orford.

At Botanica, we know all these trees well. We have picked acorns from them, planted them and nurtured them until the acorns have grown into young trees.

Sadly, today this magnificent and quintessentially English tree is facing an uncertain future. Oaks are under attack like never before. A new disease known as Sudden Oak Death, and also from the Oak gall wasps. This is worrying, and not just for the oaks themselves. Each oak tree acts as a host to literally thousands of insects. They are environmental treasures which fuel our biodiversity and we must do everything we can to counter the threats they face. So, all the more reason to plant a healthy locally sourced and grown oak tree, and to plant one now.

And finally, if you are planting an oak tree, here are our top tips:

  • make sure it has a good fibrous root system

  • give it a lot of space

  • plant it no deeper that top roots

  • make sure it is not likely to be waterlogged.

  • and don’t make the classic mistake of putting a load of manure in the hole. This can actually seriously hamper root growth and development.