North Essex organisations mark National Tree Planting Week Marks Hall Estate, Perrywood Garden Centre and Reco Store – a zero waste store in Tiptree – have been out planting a number of trees to mark National Tree Week (23rd November – 1st December) and to demonstrate their combined commitment to tree planting across Essex. The three organisations have come together to create a programme that will see them support and encourage their customers and visitors to plant trees throughout the next 12 months. This programme will include working with schools in the area to plant trees, educational support for groups and organisations, and advice and guidance for people who want to plant trees in their own gardens. They will also be launching a fund to raise money to help even more people plant trees across the region. Ahead of National Tree Week, Perrywood Garden Centre asked people whether they had any plans to plant a tree over the next 12 months, and found that a third of them plan to plant a tree in their garden, and one in ten would like to plant a tree as part of a community scheme. A further fifth said they may be planning to plant a tree*. When asked why they would like to plant a tree, they said: To attract wildlife (35%) In response to the call to plant trees from climate change activists and scientists (29%) Because they look nice (22%) To make my garden more private/for screening (7%) Other reasons (6%) Nearly a fifth (18%) said they would welcome the opportunity to buy a tree which will be planted in a public space for future generations. In 2020 Perrywood Garden Centre, Reco Store and Marks Hall Estate will be giving people the opportunity to donate money for a tree which will be planted at Marks Hall Estate. Ian Chandler, Arboretum Manager at Marks Hall Estate, says: “Marks Hall Estate is home to one of the best tree collections in the country, and working around them every day, I am very aware of the many benefits they bring. Whether it’s getting out in the fresh air to enjoy a walk around the woods, giving children the opportunity to explore the great outdoors through forest schools or tree climbing, or just standing back and admiring the many species that this country is home too, trees give us so much. “But what many people don’t realise is that they are natural air cleaners, taking in all the carbon dioxide we produce and returning it to us as oxygen. So whether you have room for one tree, a whole orchard or would like to just contribute towards the cost of tree planting, this new partnership between us here at Marks Hall Estate and the teams at Reco Store and Perrywoods means that everyone can get involved in this tree planting revolution.” Susie Falco and Elise Clitheroe from Reco Store say: “We are in the middle of an environmental catastrophe. People across the country are taking steps to try to reverse the effects of global warming, whether that’s recycling at home, cutting out the use of plastics or reducing their consumption of meat. However, one simple and effective ways to help is to plant trees and shrubs. They provide a key mechanism to lock up carbon and stem the decline in biodiversity. Everyone can do their bit, whether that means planting trees in your own garden or donating towards planting schemes. “ Of those people who are not planning to plant a tree in their garden the vast majority (73%) said this was because there was not enough space, and nearly a third (29%) said they would welcome information about the best trees to plant in a garden. Over the next 12 months Reco Store, Perrywoods and Marks Hall Estate plan to convert these people into tree planters by educating people on the importance of trees and how relatively easy they are to plant and care for. Hannah Powell from Perrywood said: “Contrary to these beliefs there is space in the majority of gardens for a tree. Many can be planted in a pot and even some larger trees can take regular pruning to restrict their root growth. Over the next twelve months we will be sharing information and ideas about the best ways to introduce a wonderful array of small trees to patios, gardens and other outside spaces.” Perrywood’s favourite small trees are: Silver Birch – attractive year-round with their white trunks and yellow leaves in the winter Fruit trees – these can be grown in pots or as espalier (against a wall) Acers – these come in a fantastic range of colours and have dramatic Autumn colour. Perfect for patios in pots or small gardens Crab apples – birds and animals love the fruits, and they have year-round appeal with Spring flowers, berries in Winter and Autumn leaf colour Topiary trees such as Yew, Box, Bay, Privet and Holly *The poll was conducted online via Perrywood Facebook pages, and it surveyed 87 people.