Home Made Christmas Trees

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Two years ago we started our tree planting program. To kick it off we bought 75 extra trees and gave them to the team @ K. Not everyone had space for them so I planted a couple of dozen on a site just north of here and had a couple leftover in my back garden.

It’s minus 7 Celsius (17 Fahrenheit) outside at the moment… very very cold for England. So I wanted to check on the trees this morning and they looked so beautiful I wanted to share them with you.

But are they ok?

The trees are native to Alaska, Sitka to be precise (which is where they get their name from). They grow natively from Kodiak Island all the way down the west coast of the US/Canada to Fort Bragg in Northern California. The temperature range along this stretch is from record lows of well below minus 20 Celsius (-4 Fahrenheit) in the north to highs of 30 Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) in August in California.

So I guess they’ll be fine in England even though it’s going to be a tough winter this year.

Why Sitka?

We’re planting Sitka as its one of the fastest-growing tree species and has an important role to play in Carbon Sequestration. This is the process by which Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere, a contributor to global warming, is ‘fixed’ by trees and stored in the timber, foliage and roots. Sitka spruce removes carbon from the atmosphere as it grows and can hold over 200 tonnes of carbon per hectare. We can’t just plant these on their own and we mix them up with beech, alder, Norwegian spruce and oak – doing this improves the biodiversity of the area.

The largest tree planting site we have is in County Durham (north of England). Temperatures there at the moment are almost minus 10 Celsius. As soon as spring comes we’ll be doing a comprehensive inspection of the 6,500 baby trees that went in this year and planning the planting schedule for next year. I’ll keep you up-to-speed via this blog.