My Tree, Our Forest is a scheme offered by the Welsh Government and Coed Cadw, The Woodland Trust in Wales to offer every household in Wales a tree to plant, absolutely free of charge. It is a great scheme, set up with the intention of creating more greenery in Wales and fighting climate change, as well as contributing to the National Forest For Wales.
This post is written in collaboration with the My Tree, Our Forest Scheme. All thoughts and opinions are our own.
Why plant trees?
There are so many reasons why it is good to plant trees. They create a habitat for birds, wildlife and insects to create a home and will help to support biodiversity and ensure the future of many different species. They provide beauty spots, with beautiful colours and spring flowers. More greenery is great for our health and wellbeing. They also can help to create shady spots, useful if you have a particularly sunny garden or area. Trees are also one of the best ways we can fight climate change - we need to protect our woodlands and create new areas of greenery.
The National Forest For Wales
In 2020 the Welsh Government announced it's commitment to a National Forest for Wales, with the aim of creating new areas of woodland and to help to maintain and restore ancient woodlands. This is a project that will span many decades but the new managed woodland areas will help to provide leisure and nature space, capture and store carbon and provide a sustainable timber source for construction.
As individuals we can help with these aims and ambitions by collecting a tree to plant. Every household in Wales is entitled to one free of charge so there is no reason not to partake. If you cannot travel to a hub to collect your tree you can have one posted or you can ask for one to be planted for you if you would struggle to plant it or have no space. There are 295,000 trees available between March 2022 and March 2023, on a first come, first served basis.
What trees are available to collect?
A range of trees will be available to collect, depending on what they have at your chosen hub including Hazel; Rowan; Hawthorn; Silver Birch; Crab Apple; Sessile Oak; Dogwood; Dog Rose; Field Maple; and Elder. You will get a small tree sapling between 20-40cm which will grow to be suitable for smaller spaces and gardens. Advice will be on hand if you need assistance choosing the best tree for your space. Each tree comes with a tag that tells you how to plant your tree and a link to a page on care and advice for their survival for the next few years.
Finding a hub to collect your tree
There are 50 hubs across wales where you can pick up your free tree. We visited the hub that is outside Abergavenny Castle and Museum. There was a little table of volunteers and we were able to choose a tree sapling that suited our garden and where we are able to plant it. The process was really easy, we filled out a form and within a few minutes were heading home with our very own tree sapling.
The volunteers were there to advise on types of tree and what sort of care they need and we were actually offered three tree saplings to take home.
Planting our sapling
We chose a dog rose as it has pretty flowers in the spring and grows to about 3ft tall which would be perfect for our garden. We are looking forward to watching it grow - I think it’s such a great learning experience for the children. They loved helping me to plant it garden and will help to look after it until it is bigger.
This is what it should look like when it is grown...
If you aren’t able to visit a hub before they close for the year on the 18th December, don’t worry they will reopen in mid February 2023. Or you can arrange to have a tree delivered by filling out the online form.
Also, if you don’t have the space to plant a tree yourself, you can still apply for one and have it planted for you.
To find out more information and to find your local hub check out the Woodland Trust website.
Why not share this post with your friends in Wales so they know how to collect their free tree?