Trees have long been fascinating to me. From the early days of climbing and swinging out of them to today where someone pays me to do this!!! What is not to love,from big to small, strong and tough to delicate and gentle an everything in between. They shape our gardens, wider landscape and life. We all remember some time we sheltered from a shower under their tangled arms, when we admired that single mature oak in a beautiful field or that windswept hawthorn at a crossroads or just a simple walk in a woodland.
What has prompted me to thing more that normal about this recently is seeing how some trees are been treated. Too often the first thing that is done is cut down that tree its blocking light to the garden, 'top' those trees, how dare they grow that tall. Remove those street trees they have too many leaves and are moving this nice concrete I placed around their roots.Embrace the shade and work with the garden that has been created, shade gardens are some of the most beautiful gardens you can create, manage trees correctly if at all. Where I am sitting now is less than 10m from a large ash which I coppiced over ten years ago. Plant the right tree in the right place to the best of your ability and it will never let you down. (This includes street trees or close to a house in private terms)
What I mean by all of that is too often we rush in to make a decision about something that could be there longer than us and may out live us just because....Sometimes people cannot give even that good a reason.
The same is true when it comes to planting new trees. Clients often ask that the tree be no more than 10ft tall and wont have a lot of leaves and the petals of their flowers are messy once they fall. The first thing that worries them are the negatives. Thing of the positives, that beautiful specimen growing to its potential, the summer shade of the leaves and the beautiful spring scent and colour of their flowers.
With a little time and care the right tree can be found for every space and this is what takes the skill in spending the time getting this right. From an avenue to an orchard and single specimens to a grove, a little care goes a long way. It may often take 10-20 years before I will be proven right about some of my planting choices. This is the price I am willing to pay. I look forward to the day when people admire these trees and wonder about the people that planted them as I do today...(and sometimes not always in a good way!!)
I have planted my first tree with my daughter this week and was great to do so. The questions and excitement, its something we all should have. I hope she plants many more. I also hope you plant more trees and look after those already around you. Enjoy them, we will miss them when they are gone.