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Joining in the UK’s largest annual tree celebration – National Tree Week 2022

Tuesday 29th November 2022

National Tree Week runs from 26 November to 4 December, marking the start of the best period of the year to plant trees. Ignore photographs of dignitaries planting trees in the middle of a hot summer to mark the opening of a new housing development or building project. Moving a tree when it is in full leaf and putting it into dry ground with a compacted root system is a recipe for disaster. To give a tree the best (re)start in life, it is always preferable to transplant them when they are in their winter dormancy and when the ground is likely to be wet but not yet frozen.

group of people planting trees at regular intervals
Volunteers hard at work planting trees

And that is just what we did on the 28th November. Our volunteers helped put out more than 130 native saplings to improve the diversity in the woodland surrounding our Science Oxford Centre and Wood Centre for Innovation in Headington. The trees were provided by the Woodland Trust. Species included sessile oak, field maple, rowan, hazel and dog wood, which will add resilience to our currently ash-dominated woodlands. It is important to not only increase the number of species of trees, but also to increase the age and structural diversity of trees in our woodlands to provide suitable habitats for the widest range of other woodland species.

The small saplings we introduced are simple to plant and hardy enough that they can become established without too much aftercare. After a few years growth, they will start to thrive and make the most of spaces in the canopy, such as the spaces created through natural decay or through thinning out diseased specimens.

Natural regeneration can only take you so far, so give nature a little boost and plant a tree this winter!

The Woodland Trust offers free trees to schools and communities. You can find out more here.

group of men and women working on clearing space to plant trees

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