It takes many years, sometime centuries for a tree to reach maturity. Yet someone with a chain saw can fell a tree in a matter of hours. And that’s exactly what happened at the Northleigh Road site on 10th April when one of the local residents brought in a tree surgeon to fell a 30 metre high poplar tree growing next to the back fence of his small garden.
It’s understandable for people to want to cut them down when the roots of large trees are undermining building foundations. Nevertheless, every tree felled is a loss to the environment when trees are vital for absorbing carbon in our increasingly unpredictable climate. This tree didn’t have a preservation order on it so there is little we can do to stop trees like this one being felled and on occasions trees cause problems for us too.
On the upside, the Ward End Gardeners Association currently has some trees ready to plant which will make a difference long-term to the air quality in our urban landscape. These were made available via the Birmingham-based Active Wellbeing Society (TAWS, previously Park Lives) from the Woodland Trust. Last year the Trust started distributing thousands of trees to schools and community groups, and TAWS had planned to plant some in Ward End when the lockdown measures called a halt to activities. So now the Ward End Gardeners Association has 91 tree saplings which are desperate to grow now Spring is here.
Fortunately some of our plotholders are stepping in to give them a home, so we have started planting the collections ready and waiting at each site – some next to fencing, and some on corner plots which haven’t been let for years that are now wild areas with brambles and local wildlife populations – foxes, birds, insects and probably hedgehogs, frogs and other creatures which can bring benefits to vegetable, fruit and flower gardeners like us!
If any members wish to help with the planting, use Contact Us to tell us which site you’re on. You could use your daily exercise time to put one in. We have rowan, hazel, cherry, crab apple, elderberry, blackthorn and dog rose, a few of each, all native trees beneficial to wildlife and food for the pollinating insects we need for growing food . They have to planted now, or stored in a temporary position until November when the new planting season starts and they can be put in their permanent planting positions.