Our home, the iconic Eden Project in Cornwall is one of the latest locations across the UK branching out to take part in the Queen's Green Canopy (QGC), a nationwide tree planting campaign to mark the Platinum Jubilee.
Helping out has been award-winning designer Mark Lane, gardening presenter on BBC TV Morning Live and a familiar face from BBC Gardeners’ World.
The QGC, launched last May, is a unique tree-planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee which invites people across the United Kingdom to “Plant a Tree for the Jubilee”.
Eden is supporting the QGC and is planting hundreds of trees in the coming year. Since November more 70 trees have been planted including oaks and Queen Elizabeth Acers in a central spot within the famous Eden site. This is part of a suite of activity at Eden which also includes inviting the nation to come together for The Big Jubilee Lunch, from 2-5 June as part of the official celebrations for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
“If you want to join in with the Queen’s Green Canopy and plant a tree in your own garden, you need to get your skates on,” says Mark. “The best time for planting is now, as that is when most trees are dormant and less likely to get damaged. And you need to make sure you get them in the ground by March.”
To twig how to successfully plant a tree, Mark has the following tips:
- Pick a small tree, such as Amelanchier, ornamental cherry or Sorbus, as these can be grown in the ground or a large pot for smaller gardens - even on a balcony.
- From November to March many trees are sold bare root, which means they have been lifted from the ground, the soil removed and sent out directly. Bare root trees are less expensive and as long as the ground is not frozen or waterlogged can be planted as soon as you get them home.
- Prepare for planting by digging a wide, shallow hole, keeping the spoil to backfill when planting.
- Plant the tree at the same depth as it was in the ground. You will see discolouration on the stem which indicates where to plant. Top Tip: Sprinkle the roots with mycorrhizal fungi and add some into the hole – these are beneficial fungi that have a symbiotic relationship with the tree’s roots and produce a secondary root system to help the tree grow and is sold in small packets in all good garden centres. Spread out the tree roots and backfill with the spoil. There is no need to add compost. Firm in. Water well and keep watered throughout the first year.
- Add your tree to the Queen's Green Canopy map at queensgreencanopy.org.
- If you miss the opportunity this spring to plant a tree, the traditional tree planting season starts again in late autumn.
P.s. Did you know?
Wherever possible, using peat-free compost (or even making your own!) is a small measure we can all take to protect our environment this spring. Peatlands are precious spaces for wildlife and they're a huge store of carbon - protecting them is vital in the fight against climate change.