The idea of a tree planting group is that we can do much more together than we can individually. There is work for all age groups and for all levels of fitness.

Light work

  • Holding measuring ropes
  • Carrying saplings, sticks and protectors
  • Placing sapling into the gaps in the soil

Intermediate work

  • Setting out marker sticks
  • Placing tree guard support sticks
  • Attaching tree guards
  • Heeling in

Heavier work

  • Opening the soil
  • Digging holes

If you want to know when our planting days are, click here or on the Events menu option.

Those attending are strongly advised to bring strong shoes or wellies, gardening gloves, waterproof and a hot drink. If you can, then it is good to bring your own spade. Trowels are also useful.

We tend to start at 10am. Most stay for about 2 hours, some stay for the afternoon, and some do the day following. It is a good idea to bring a sandwich for lunch, if staying.

Jobs are allocated on a work-together basis. People either work with friends or family or they do a specific job. For example:

  • Markers measure out the locations for new plantings
  • Then, Diggers go from marked location to marked location opening “mouths” in the ground
  • Then, Planters place saplings in the mouths
  • Then, Booters heel in the soil
  • Then, Stakers add the stakes to support the protectors 
  • Finally, Winders add the protectors
  • Throughout, Carriers supply people with saplings, sticks and protectors

Markers use bolas. These were originally a medieval Spanish weapon, thrown to wrap themselves around the hunted. We use them to establish a 2 metre spacing! Two 2 metre strings are joined at one end. The free ends are held near existing trees and when the strings are pulled tight, the joined ends show the best position for the next tree.

Diggers use spades. The spade is pushed into the ground and the user stands on the blade so as to push and cut the turf. Once in, the spade is rocked back and forth to open a “mouth”. If there is easy access to water, it is often a good idea to wet the soil.

Carriers keep everyone supplied with what they need – mostly saplings, stakes and spirals (plastic protectors to keep mice and rabbits away).

Planters place the saplings in the ground and the earth is heeled back in. This is the magic moment. Before planting there is a hole in the ground; afterwards a tree is growing which takes in carbon dioxide, produces oxygen, and which feeds the earth. It is strongly suggested that each person that attends a planting session should plant at least one tree personally. The number of trees planted is divided by those attending to calculate a personal contribution. For example on our first planting session 14 people planted a total of 144 trees. This is over 10 trees a person. 10 trees will fix 3,000 kg of carbon each year!

Booters heel in, replacing the soil with the heels of their boots. The idea is to put the roots in contact with the earth and make everything firm but not to drive the air out of the soil.

Stakers push the stakes into the ground close to the sapling’s stem. Care is taken to try and avoid the roots, but it is important for the stake to be near the trunk so that the spiral will sit easily.

Winders add the spiral and pushing the end into the ground. This helps protect against rabbits and mice.