Towards the end of last term, at Queens Park School, it was time to bring all the trees we had planted back to my garden. Over the summer holiday it is impossible to look after all the young trees at the school because it is closed. We had to bring back the trees earlier than planned, because a little boy had started to eat them. He has severe autism and just loved going outside to look at the trees and then he would eat the leaves. We didn’t think this would be good for him or the trees, so we removed the trees and any temptation.
This summer has, of course, been very hot. A sign of global warming perhaps. Many of our small trees appeared to die. I had been watering them every day but perhaps I should have given extra water considering the heat of the day. Some might have done better in larger pots, something I will take into consideration this year. However, I kept on watering all the trees, even the ones that looked quite dead and I used more water than before. After a while some of the trees with dead leaves sprouted new ones and now seem quite healthy. With the water shortage being a problem, I have tried to use ‘grey water’ left over from other uses, so we have lots of full jugs and buckets of water around now, alongside our water butt.
Looking after trees can be labour intensive, but it’s worth it. Many will die along the way, which is why we need to plant so many. But trees are resilient and can be coaxed back to life. I’m looking forward to planting some of them out this year and of course planting more nuts and seeds.