According to David Attenborough’s latest documentary A Life on Our Planet, humans around the world cut down 15 billion trees every year. I don’t know about you, but I can’t picture what that looks like. When you do the maths, however, you realise it isn’t pretty. To reach that number every year, we have to cut down more than 40 million trees every day.

Which begs the question - are we planting 40 million trees every day to replace those cut down? In the UK, the latest government tree planting scheme is 13,000 trees per day. Statistics like that can make you feel powerless, but if we all worked together and took tiny steps, we can make a difference.

Planting even a small garden tree will clean the air we breathe; it’ll absorb carbon from the atmosphere as well as dust and harmful particulates and provide us with oxygen; it’ll even improve our mental health. Trees are so much smarter than we realise. They communicate with each other. In a forest when a young sapling is struggling for water during a drought – the mother tree provides water for the youngster using its roots. Surely something that intelligent and beneficial deserves better treatment from us. If you’re looking for a sustainable New Year’s resolution - plant a tree!

One of the local nurseries for trees is The Plant Man in Braybrooke (01858 530787). They know their stuff, so even if you don’t know which tree would be suitable for your garden, they will. Good advice will prevent you falling into the trap of planting the fastest growing tree available; we’ve all seen what happens when people do that, it ends up dwarfing the house and is cut down.

You can hear Nick chatting about gardens every Sunday afternoon on BBC Radio Leicester.  

Plant a Tree