At AMPG we are passionate about how the role our gardens can play in helping to fight against climate change, but we know it is often difficult to know where to start. This month we have been inspired and enthused by the Woodland Trust’s Big Climate Fightback. We would like to ask you to start by planting a tree. A small individual step, but collectively we can make a huge difference. Be one in a million.
The Woodland Trust is calling on one million people to pledge to plant a tree to help fight the climate emergency and, on 30 November they are holding a mass participation tree planting day with events across the country. This is the first step to meeting the Woodland Trust’s aim to plant a tree for every person in the country by 2025. To find out more, watch the Woodland Trust’s documentary presented by Chris Packham on Channel 5 this Thursday 28 November (trailer here)
In the office we are always thinking about trees at this time of year – November is the official start of the bare root season, when so many more species and cultivars become available from specialist tree nurseries. I also can’t go anywhere at this time of year without getting distracted by the dazzling autumn colours and my notebook is filled with lots of new ideas of trees for our client’s gardens. In honour of the Woodland Trusts Campaign (and because this week is National Tree Week), I’ve asked the team to share some of their favourite trees.
Amelanchier lamarckii – a truly superb tree, with gorgeous spring blossom and fabulous autumn colour. No garden should be without it…
Cercis candensis ‘Merlot’ – perfect for small gardens. Deep pink blossoms in spring, dark purple foliage which turns vibrant shades of scarlet in the autumn
Malus ‘Rudolf – one of the best ornamental crab apples with rich pink blooms in spring, red fruits in late summer/autumn and wonderful autumn colour.
Davidia involucrata – the handkerchief tree, a stunning, medium sized tree that becomes draped in handkerchief sized bracts in the Spring.
Liquidambar styraciflua – large tree with maple-like trees. It truly come into its own in the Autumn, with arguably the best autumn colour of them all. If your garden is large enough, this tree is not to be missed.
Morus nigra – the mulberry tree, its natural form produces low-hanging branches are perfect for den making, allowing children (and adults) to escape to a secret wonderland. The fruits are pretty tasty too!
Dicksonia antarctica – (tree fern) it might be a fern, but, as the name suggests (and to be fair to Ian) we use it as a tree… it makes a stunning architectural statement in urban gardens, or, underplanted with other ferns and tropical plants can instantly transport a garden to a jungle paradise.
…Yes, we know Ian has chosen 3 trees… and a fern…(?) who says landscape architects don’t know anything about plants! (#notalllandscapearchitects)
Betula ‘Fascination’ – A beautiful birch which makes an elegant alternative to the ubiquitous white-trunked ‘Jacquemontii’. Warm, coppery peeling bark and rich golden autumn colour.
Cornus kousa – In the spring the Cornus is covered in showy white bracts. followed by sweet, edible, pinkish-red globular fruits – perfect for small or medium sized gardens.
Pyrus callyerana ‘Chanticleer’ – a close second to Liquidambar for autumn colour, this ornamental pear has the added benefit of being smothered in white blossoms in the Spring. It is one of the first trees into leaf and one of the last to lose its leaves in the autumn (after a stunning display), which makes this a great tree for screening overlooking neighbours.
If you have been inspired by these selections – please sign up to the Woodland Trust’s pledge. Even if you are unable to plant a tree, you can still play your part. Ask your friends and neighbours to pledge, keep your eyes peeled for local sites crying out for trees and ask your council to sign up to the campaign.
Where to buy – a selection of trade nurseries who also sell direct to customers
- Barcham Trees Tel 01353 720 950, barcham.co.uk
- Deepdale Trees Tel 0176 7262636, deepdale-trees.co.uk
- Hillier Garden Centres Tel 01794 368407, hillieronline.co.uk
- Majestic Trees Tel 01582 843881, majestictrees.co.uk
- Tendercare Tel 01895 835544, tendercare.co.uk
- Palmstead (via Simply Go Gardening) Tel 0330 118 4321 simplygogardening.co.uk