Planting a tree
Planting a tree with your children is a wonderful way to commemorate a birthday or special day as well as being hugely beneficial to our environment in the long term.
August is a good time of year to do this. It is great fun watching a tree grow and depending on the type of tree you choose, it can also provide you with beautiful blossoms, dramatic seasonal displays and fruit or berries.
Choosing the right tree for your space is vital. Spending time doing some research with your kids on the type of tree you want to plant will save you extra work in the long run and they will learn a lot. Your local garden centre will be able to help you choose your tree. You need to consider the overall height of the tree, whether you want it to be evergreen or deciduous, proximity to the house or pool and if it needs to provide dappled or heavy shade.
Some great indigenous and waterwise varieties include Wild Olive, Cape Ash, Sweet Thorn, Sagewood and Camphor Bush. All of these have attractive characteristics and are suited to our climate.
Planting your tree:
Once you have selected your tree and where you are going to plant it, get your garden spade and dig a hole that is twice the width of the container that the tree is in. If the soil is very hard, dig a little deeper to loosen the soil and work in some compost and a sprinkling of bone meal (which encourages root production). Fill the hole with water and allow it to soak away. This will ensure that the surrounding soil doesn’t pull all the moisture from your newly planted tree.
Next, carefully remove the tree from the bag or pot. Try to keep the root ball together when you do this – and carefully position the tree in the middle of your hole making sure that the tree is straight. Take the soil that you removed when creating the hole, and again mix it with some compost and bone meal. Fill the gap around the tree with this mixture and using the heel of your shoe, gently tread the soil in to make sure there are no holes or air pockets. Give the tree a good watering.
Why not celebrate by having a picnic under your new tree with your kids!