Now our volunteers are known for getting out and planting trees in all sorts of weathers, and this season has been a classic one for 'all in a day' planting. However, February has been beautiful, and whilst this comes with wonderful blue skies and sparkling early mornings, it also has its serious downsides for tree planting.
It looks like, unless a healthy dose of rain falls in the next few weeks, we’re nearing the end of the planting season.
If the ground gets too dry to plant, our trees won’t be able to develop a decent root structure and ‘settle in’ to their new home. This means that, even if they survive in the dry soil, they are much less likely to survive any extremes of weather later in the year. Those much loved long hot summers are the bane of the tree planter keeping a wary eye on all the winters hard work!
You haven’t heard from me earlier in February because, being concerned this might be the case, we’ve been working ten to the dozen to get as many of our trees, woodlands and hedgerows planted by the beginning of March.
In February over 12,000 trees have left the nursery, to be planted at around 10 different sites, in schemes that include assisted natural regeneration, agroforestry, hedgerows and new native broadleaf woodlands.
With such a small staff (only one of whom is nearly full-time) it seems incredible that this is possible – but that’s because the Stump team isn’t just our staff. It’s a community with our land owners and volunteers at its heart.
To date in February, volunteers have accumulated a total of nearly 500 hours planting trees.
Hopefully they’ve had some great fun, and on occasion some excellent cake, whilst doing so!
Here’s to the final push and the end of season planting, we’ve a fair number to get out of the door and into the ground before we have to wrap up for this year.
And don’t worry, we won’t be going into spring hibernation; there’s loads to get involved with at our nursery, with our ecology team and prepping for next seasons trees.