There's lots of ways you can celebrate National Tree Week

In her weekly gardening column Olive Ryan looks at what's happening for National Tree Week 
There's lots of ways you can celebrate National Tree Week

EYE-CATCHING: The enormous blooms of Magnolia campbellii in flower at the moment — see Plant of the Week.

We’re rooting for trees, so get planting!

THE extra hours of daylight each day are beginning to become more noticeable and are greatly appreciated morning and evening.

As we emerge from the winter, start to shake off the dark and cold, and get into action preparing for the growing year ahead, it is indeed an exciting time in the garden.

Plants are showing serious signs of growth as they begin to burst up through the soil. It is a good time to consider digging up and dividing herbaceous perennials which will need to be planted or potted immediately as they are at the start of active growth.

It is also a good time to consider taking basal cuttings from the fresh new growth emerging from the base of the plant which is full of vim and vigour at the start of the year.

It is a great way of increasing stocks, particularly of plants that bulk up quickly like dahlia, lupin, delphinium, phlox and verbena.

Last chance now to transplant any plant that is in the wrong location, blocking sunlight or getting too big for its boots.

Plants are starting to wake up and roots and shoots are being activated by a rise in soil temperatures, so it is important to get the job done now before growth begins in earnest.

 National Tree Week started March 21 and continues until March 27.
National Tree Week started March 21 and continues until March 27.

Any time is a good time to plant a tree in your garden, and when could be more fitting than National Tree Week, which runs from Sunday, March 21 to Saturday, March 27. Throughout the week there will be a number of free webinars that can be registered for at www.treecouncil.ie/nationaltreeweek2021

It may be a more low key event this year due to restrictions but it is still possible to become involved in some way including:

Check out the National Tree Week Events Programme on our website and take part in an event near you.

Celebrate National Tree Week in your school by planting a tree in your school grounds.

Draw pictures, make leaf prints or take bark rubbings.

Learn how to measure the height and spread of a tree.

Read, write poems or create and tell stories about trees.

Produce a class drama.

Encourage your local residents association, tidy towns group, youth club, sports club or other local organisation to get their members involved in a tree planting or a tree maintenance project. (Foir example, clean up a local woodland in your area.

Volunteer in a local community tree-planting event. You’ll meet new people and make a difference in your community.

Organise a walk or trail to showcase and tell the stories of any large, unusual or historic trees in your community.

Commemorate an event of significance in your community by planting a tree, and organise a community celebration or get together to mark the occasion.

Celebrate the week in a personal way by planting a tree yourself in your own garden.

Take some time to read a book about trees or find our more about their characteristics, their uses, folklore, etc.

Learn to identify trees in your neighbourhood.

Enjoy the outdoors. Visit a local forest or park, or take a nature walk and enjoy observing and being in the company of trees.

Learn about Shrinrin-Yoku Forest Therapy, the medicine of simply being in the forest.

Those in the business community could sponsor a community tree project. See Treecouncil.ie.

Enable Ireland has launched www.enableirelandgardencentre.ie
Enable Ireland has launched www.enableirelandgardencentre.ie

Many garden centres have been closed for business throughout the country over the last few months and now is an essential time in the gardening calender to be able to purchase seeds, compost, plants and all things gardening.

With this in mind, Enable Ireland, the national organisation providing services to children and adults with disabilities, has recently launched its brand new online garden centre.

Customers can now get all their gardening needs under one roof at www.enableirelandgardencentre.ie

Enable Ireland’s Garden Centre stocks everything you need for your garden. They have a great range of planters, trees, seeds, plants, pots, garden tools and equipment, with the focus on quality products and strong customer service.

All of the profits from the garden centre will support Enable Ireland’s vital disability services for more than 9,200 children and adults with disabilities across Ireland. The charity is now asking the public to dig deep and shop online to support these vital services.

Customers will also find a great selection of gift ideas, ornaments and homeware in the online shop. With a nationwide delivery service, you can save your energy for the garden and get all your goods delivered to the front door.

The new website will feature regular gardening tips so you can make the most of your outdoor space over the coming months.

Magnolia Campbellii.
Magnolia Campbellii.

Plant of the week

With Tree Week approaching, I think it is only fitting that this week’s Plant of the Week is a tree, and a very beautiful spring flower tree at that.

Magnolia campbellii produces large pink flowers from March onwards before coming into leaf. It does take some time to get established and can get to 15-20 metres in height with a similar spread.

Preferring a free draining neutral to acid soil and a sheltered location away from severe winds, this is an eye-catching tree in spring time with its huge flowers produced en masse.

These flowers go on to produce very attractive seed heads which are held on the plant for the summer months.

It grows into quite a large tree so do allow enough space for establishment when choosing a spot for this specimen tree.

Happy Tree Week!

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