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You Can Plant Trees

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Like many Friends of the Earth supporters, I try to reduce my carbon footprint as much as possible. After making the usual lifestyle changes, I asked myself, what else can I do? Tree planting is an action I heard advocated again and again.

Tree planting does not have to mean volunteering at a mass-attended event planting thousands of trees in one space. There’s a role for individual action here too. I was greatly inspired by possible’s Tree Town Guide, which explains how to identify small-scale planting sites in your local area. So I found a site, got permission to plant there, sourced some trees and got them in the ground. This took some effort but was far easier than I expected.

The more trees the better so take on your own tree planting mission and together we can make a difference.

Make it Happen

First, have a look at the Tree Town guide. This explains how to find and analyse your planting site and I really could not have created a better guide myself.

You can use GMODI online mapping to find council-owned land.

Getting Permission

To make it as easy as possible for the council to say ‘yes’ to a planting proposal, you can compiled a report including facts about the site and your motivation. Use the checklist from the Tree Town guide to make sure you cover important points.

You can download a report template (Word document).

Sourcing your Trees in Greater Manchester

  • My saplings were provided at no cost by City of Trees, a Manchester based operation aiming to plant millions of trees across the region.
  • You can apply for free community tree packs from Woodland Trust. You can also buy tree packs here at a reasonable cost.
  • If you have tip-top communication skills and charm, another option is to reach out to local businesses (try Garden Centres/ Nurseries) ask for their donations either of saplings or funds.

All You Need is a Spade

The planting itself is straightforward. Working in a team of two it took just over an hour to plant 50 ‘whips’ (small saplings). For each tree, we simply dug a hole and placed the whip in the soil, then gently pressed the loose soil around its roots to secure in place. This video from the Woodland Trust shows how easy it is.

Next Steps

Why not challenge yourself to plant 30, 50 or 100 trees in the next planting season? You really don’t need much to get started, and our collective action can go a long way. Get in touch with Friends of the Earth Manchester @ for more guidance and let us know about your Tree Planting Mission!

Katie. 16th May 2021.

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