In The UK, Trees Say I Love You

One of the National Trust’s tree-planting projects, at Kingston Lacy in Dorset. Its Plant a Tree appeal has topped £1m. Photograph: James Dobson/National Trust/PA

Planting trees is part of our business model. So, we love this news:

Forget flowers – poll shows third of people prefer to say I love you with a tree

National Trust says tree giving growing in popularity but only 7% know best season to plant

A National Trust ranger, David Smith, preparing saplings for planting at Hafod Garegog in north Wales. Photograph: Paul Harris/National Trust/PA

For centuries people have said it with flowers but research suggests a new tradition is gaining popularity in the UK – expressing love, thanks, perhaps even regret with the gift of a tree.

A third of people said they would consider saying it with a tree rather than a bouquet and more than one in 10 had already done so, according to the research commissioned by the National Trust.

However, the conservation charity also said only 7% of people in the UK knew the best time of year to plant, and it was launching a drive to improve “tree literacy”.

The research, carried out by YouGov in September as the leaves began to turn and released before the Tree Council’s national tree week, beginning on Saturday, found that 49% of UK adults would consider planting a tree to help the environment, while 35% would think about giving a gift of a tree rather than flowers, with 12% already having done so.

Trees appear to have become more important to people since the Covid crisis, with more than a quarter of those polled saying they noticed trees more than before the pandemic. Almost 40% said they took “considerable notice” of how trees changed throughout the year.

The question of when to plant was trickier, with 42% saying spring was the ideal time to plant rather than winter. Spring and summer are the worst time for planting, the trust says, as young trees need a lot of water. Also, broad leaf trees are dormant in winter so can be moved from nurseries and planted with minimal impact and stress to the tree.

Celia Richardson, the trust’s director of communications and audience, said the charity was detecting a changing relationship between people and trees. “There’s a Greek proverb that says a society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they shall never sit. We’re delighted by the growing enthusiasm among donors and gift-givers for trees that will serve everyone long into the future,” she said…

Read the whole article here.

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