Tree of the Day – Sycamore
Saturday 23rd November sees the start of National Tree Week (23rd November – 1st December) and is the UK’s largest annual tree celebration, marking the start of the winter tree planting season.
To celebrate trees we are posting the ‘Tree of the Day’ with details of the trees you are likely to see if you are out and about in Greater Manchester.
Another of the three commonest trees identified by the City of Trees survey is the sycamore, famous for its spinning winged seeds or ‘keys’. The sycamore is by far the most successful of all exotic trees in the UK, and it is in fact found over a wider area than any native species. Here, the word ‘exotic’ is used in its technical sense – the sycamore is actually native as near as Belgium and the north of France. It will withstand strong winds and salt spray in the air and has therefore often been planted to screen farms in the Pennines and Scotland and as a windbreak on the coast. It is even resilient enough to survive on the Faroe Islands and in Iceland. Although it’s not native to Great Britain, it attracts many species of aphids (and therefore their predators), and its flowers are pollinated by bees
Trees play an incredible role in combating climate chaos by removing planet-wrecking emissions from the air around us. Despite their importance, just 13% of the UK’s total land area has tree cover (compared to an EU average of 35%).
Friends of the Earth has launched a #MoreTreesPlease campaign to double tree cover in the UK. We believe one of the best solutions to protect our environment and achieve net zero emissions (removing as many emissions as we produce) is to double UK forest by 2045, but government targets currently fall well short.
Manchester Friends of the Earth November newsletter is all about trees!
Wherever you live, trees have a wide range of benefits, which you can learn more about inside this newsletter. In our city centres, trees help absorb air pollutants and cool the air in heatwaves. In our suburbs, trees enhance the value of open spaces for exercise and recreation, improving our physical and mental health. In our countryside, trees retain moisture in the soil and thus reduce the risk of grass fires in droughts and floods after heavy rain. These are all important reasons for planting more trees here in Greater Manchester.