Tree planting in Suffolk winter 2019-20

Amazing Tree planting in Suffolk Winter 2019 – Together we can make a difference

For the second year running, the Suffolk Tree Warden Network have worked in partnership with the Woodland Trust Eastern Claylands Project and Suffolk County Council to plant large numbers of trees in Suffolk. Surpassing last year’s almost 3,000 trees, this winter nearly 4,500 trees were given to tree wardens and landowners to plant in their parishes. In addition, 852 meters of hedgerow (4,345 plants/trees) were provided to create new hedgerows and fill in gaps in old ones. In all, nearly 9,000 trees and shrubs will have been planted as part of the partnership scheme.

The Woodland Trust supplied an additional 10,500 trees to landowners in Suffolk bringing the total number of trees planted to more than 19,000 trees.

Tree pack delivered

The tree packs consisted of a mix of young cell grown trees including Oak, Field Maple, Hornbeam, Small-leaved Lime, Aspen, Silver Birch, Beech, Wild Cherry, Wild Service and Crab Apple. Tree wardens were given a limited choice of species in their packs of 50 trees to allow for differing soil conditions.

Each tree was supplied with a guard and stake to protect it from deer attack. The Woodland Trust provided the trees as part of its Eastern Claylands project to replace diseased trees (mainly due to Ash Dieback) in the Suffolk landscape.

The hedgerow plants included Hawthorn, Field Maple, Hazel, Dogwood, Dog Rose, Guelder Rose and Crab Apple and came with spirals/canes. In addition Oak, Hornbeam and/or Birch, one for every ten meters of hedgerow, were supplied to be grown as standards.

Volunteers preparing to assemble packs of free trees for delivery to tree wardens and landowners

The tree and hedgerow packs were made up in a barn in Stonham Aspal by Tree Warden volunteers over three days. The tree orders were either delivered by Edwin Van Ek (Woodland Trust Outreach Adviser) and Gary Battell (Suffolk County Council Woodland Adviser) or collected by landowners and tree wardens from Stonham Aspal.

Making up the tree packs
How did I miss this impressive sign?

Planting mainly took place during National Tree Planting Week (end of November). Trees were planted by tree wardens, landowners, schoolchildren, scouts and village residents. They were planted in a wide variety of places including, private gardens, recreation grounds, school grounds and scout headquarters. Trees were used to create new community and privately owned woodland and were planted around farmers fields. New hedgerows were created and gaps in old ones filled in. Others were planted on road verges and on parish council land. In all cases tree wardens made sure that landowners permission was given and that the right tree was planted in the right place.

Many more trees have been planted in Suffolk this winter. One of these tree planting events in Mellis, Mid Suffolk, is particularly noteworthy.

Cow Pasture Lane, is an old drove road which linked Thornham Magna with Mellis, crossing into Norfolk and beyond. A 250 meter section of the old hedgerow which had mature trees, many of great age, had been removed in the 1970’s.

Northern part of the lane early in the morning

This section has now been restored as part of a Woodland Trust More Hedges scheme with additional funding provided by Suffolk County Council and coordinated by local residents, Edwin Van Ek (Woodland Trust) and Suffolk Tree Warden Network.

Preparation for community planting Tool Station

On Saturday 30 November and Sunday 1 December, more than 2,500 hedgerow plants and trees were planted on either side of the footpath south of the main railway line to restore the missing section. More than 60 volunteers including tree wardens from all over Suffolk, local residents, a district councillor and families with children took part. Soup, tea, coffee, a fire, cakes and other delights were provided by local people.

Restoring an ancient drove road
Community planting in Cow Pasture Lane

A great community event which brought people of all ages together of which the late local writer, environmental campaigner and naturalist, Roger Deakin, who lived at one end of the lane, would have been proud.

If you have a tree planting event you would like to share, please send a short description, including photos if possible.

Job done. The trees do the rest, with a little help from their friends.