This year, #NationalTreeWeek runs from Saturday 27th November through to Sunday 5th December. Some of you may be wondering what it's even about, how it started, and ways to celebrate- so we're here to tell you exactly that (and celebrate along with you!).
What is National Tree Week?
National Tree Week is the UK's biggest annual tree celebration, in which involves masses of communities coming together to do more to help their local surroundings and environment...all by planting as many trees as they can!
To begin with, people named the celebration "Plant A Tree," which started out in 1973 in response to Dutch Elm Disease- a tree diseases that stopped the people from being able to reach water properly.
How and when did National Tree Week start?
In 1973, the Dutch Elm Disease came around and killed lots of elm trees around the UK. In response to this, Sydney Chapman and Peter Walker decided something needed to be done (they were two members of the parliament at this time). They ended up creating a year-long campaign named "Plant A Tree," to encourage people to get going and plant as many trees as possible across the time span of one year.
The campaign was so successful that something called the "Tree Council Group" was set up, in order to continually encourage people to plant more trees. With that being said, instead of it being over one whole year, we now celebrate it in the same respect in the duration of 1 week at the end of every November.
November is the chosen time for this celebration as this is the month when the tree planting season starts. They need to be planted when it starts to get cold, as they are dormant and planting will not disrupt their growth. With that being said, though National Tree Week only lasts one week, the tree planting season lasts until March- so we all have plenty of time to help support this campaign and plant as many trees as we like!
Why are trees important to us?
Trees are an important to our ecosystem as they take in Carbon Dioxide from the atmosphere, replacing it with Oxygen- something we all need to breathe!
Trees simply keep our air clean- they're a vital part to keeping our climate under control. As well as this, the nutrients that trees give off in the soil provides for plenty of other plants, helping them to develop and grow to their full potential- so not only do they provide for us and our environment, but they help other plants alongside them too!
Furthermore, plenty of wildlife rely on trees- such as bugs, birds, and squirrels- for food and homes. Without them, hundreds of animals would be left without anything.
Trees even have the ability to protect us from extreme weather conditions. With their long roots and large cover of leaves, they're able to help stop the soil from eroding and prevent flooding issues. As well as this, when the temperature increases and we're faced with very hot weather, the big leaves are able to provide lots of shade potential; similarly when it is cold.
So let's be real...trees are very important to us and our ecosystems, and we need to ensure we do our part by not only respecting them, but also helping to plant more!
How can I celebrate National Tree Week?
As important as it is to celebrate National Tree Week, annually, what can we do towards it, ourselves, to make an impact?
Well, the answer is simple. We just need to plant more trees! Get together with your community, or plant some yourself in your own space to support the celebration. As well as this, you can always write to your local council and ask questions about how they're supporting the campaign this year, and what you can do to help.
The Tree Council is also something important to consider- it was set up in 1973, just after the first tree campaign came about. It's the perfect source for plenty of information and finding out what activities are taking place in your area each year.
With that being said, if you're not so keen about the whole hands-on effect, you can always do something at home to celebrate this week. Find out about all the different kind of trees, those that are most popular in your area, and ways to tell the difference between each one. You just need to make yourself and others aware of the environment around them, and help encourage more people to think about how they can help sustain their surroundings and keep it safe.
So join us in celebrating this National Tree Week once again this year! Plant some trees in your backyard, or help out at a local community- honour the trees and what they do for us and our environment.
Now, with that all being said, you can always go and find out more over at The Tree Council to find out how you can take part- it's the perfect source for information and finding events (as mentioned previously). We highly recommend it!