Guerrilla Tree Planting

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Guerrilla Tree Planting

Postby joe92 » 04 Sep 2019, 12:08

Guerrilla tree planting is pretty much exactly what is sounds like. It's going out and planting trees on land you don't own. It's best to choose council owned land, common or disused land.

So, has anyone done this and has a story to tell, or do you have any thoughts on it?

I'll start with my own.

Earlier this year I planted my first. It was a naturally seeded hawthorn my parents didn't want in their garden. I took it to the place where I walk my dog and planted it there in a recently felled woodland area. It was the middle of April and way out of the recommended planting time and we were struck with a heatwave very shortly afterwards. Through the next two months I gave it regular top ups of water and then the typical rubbish English summer arrived and took care of my need to water it bar another hot spell later in the year. The tree has just about managed to survive and I will see in the spring for sure if it puts out any new growth. Now my parents have a naturally seeded rowan they want removing. I know exactly where I'm going to transplant it to.

This autumn I will be putting in the serious effort. Starting soon I will be collecting seeds for growing trees in pots. It will be a long term project as they won't be ready to plant till the end of next year at the earliest but there's no need to put off starting. I will be aiming to grow rowan, blackthorn, oak, crab apple and scots pine.

Why? Because this is something that I, one person, can do to try combat climate change.
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Re: Guerrilla Tree Planting

Postby Strategus » 04 Sep 2019, 13:55

Read up on which species grow quickest, in what environment (e.g. dry, boggy, shaded, exposed), and how much co2 thet eat. Not all trees are suited to all places you mihjt plant them. Like the idea though.
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Re: Guerrilla Tree Planting

Postby beowulf7 » 04 Sep 2019, 17:15

Good post, Joe. I've dabbled a bit but more with wild flowers - trailing poppy seeds and the like.

Would you be interested in getting something organised? See if we can get some momentum behind us? If we put info out there and gathered a few people then it could snowball :)
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Re: Guerrilla Tree Planting

Postby joe92 » 04 Sep 2019, 19:42

Strategus wrote:Read up on which species grow quickest, in what environment (e.g. dry, boggy, shaded, exposed), and how much co2 thet eat. Not all trees are suited to all places you mihjt plant them. Like the idea though.

All good points. I would just say that fast growing isn't the only consideration to make. Slow growing trees eventually sequester more carbon per year once they reach a suitable size (source). It is through the juvenile and young stage that they sequester less. While admittedly that juvenile stage lasts longer for a slow growing tree, it's worth planting them now to be able to reap the rewards of old-growth sooner!

I might add that it's good to use native species if you can as they have a much more positive ecological impact. For the UK this is our list: https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiti ... ive-trees/

beowulf7 wrote:Good post, Joe. I've dabbled a bit but more with wild flowers - trailing poppy seeds and the like.

Would you be interested in getting something organised? See if we can get some momentum behind us? If we put info out there and gathered a few people then it could snowball :)

I would love to say this is my idea, but this has been happening for a while under the radar it seems! Here's one article about it which mentions someone doing it in London since the mid 80's: http://www.treehealthcare.co.uk/guerrilla-planting/ :D

I've joined several groups on Facebook related to rewilding this year which is where I learned about it. Lot's of good resources passed around in those groups and what seems like the start of organisation for more action. I wouldn't wish to start my own and split the beginnings of organisation elsewhere. If you are interested the two groups I would recommend are Tree Planting UK and Rewilding Scotland. The former has been involved in organising action along with collating resources. For example, in the week of mid August hundreds of members (myself included) wrote to their councils to petition for tree planting and wildflowers. The latter group obviously has a focus on Scotland but that's just because that's where most of the positive action is happening. Of the 13,000 hectares that were planted in the UK last year, 11,000 of those hectares were in Scotland. Lot's of great information in both groups.

Now is definitely the time to get involved as most of the seeds are best collected in September and October! :)
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Re: Guerrilla Tree Planting

Postby beowulf7 » 04 Sep 2019, 21:45

ok, good points

I'm a Woodland Trust member (used to be a speaker and a warden) and I'd like to do a bit more

I'm just thinking we might just drum up some action from this forum.

Seeds or whips?
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Re: Guerrilla Tree Planting

Postby ColonelApricot » 04 Sep 2019, 22:44

Ecological restoration is not just about planting trees. I would encourage you to study and support all the species that are indigenous to your target area and try to eliminate others that do not belong. The indigenous species will have evolved a highly codependent ecosystem involving plants and animals but its success can be threatened by invasive species from foreign ecosystems (these are called weeds).

Good luck in your endeavours, we need more people like you.
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Re: Guerrilla Tree Planting

Postby joe92 » 05 Sep 2019, 11:26

beowulf7 wrote:ok, good points

I'm a Woodland Trust member (used to be a speaker and a warden) and I'd like to do a bit more

I'm just thinking we might just drum up some action from this forum.

Seeds or whips?

I had to Google what a whip was :lol: As said, I'm only just getting into this. I'm bloody passionate about it, and I will learn, but I'm still a newb for sure. But seeds. I'm collecting seeds. Lot's of horse chestnuts around where I work so I've collected them. I have my eyes on a juicy blackthorn for the end of September. I collected a few acorns from a nice oak tree before realising it's too early for them.

That sounds like a great idea. I thought you meant something bigger than this forum, but if there's a group of people here willing to get into Guerrilla tree planting I'd be happy to help organise something. How would we go about it?

ColonelApricot wrote:Ecological restoration is not just about planting trees. I would encourage you to study and support all the species that are indigenous to your target area and try to eliminate others that do not belong. The indigenous species will have evolved a highly codependent ecosystem involving plants and animals but its success can be threatened by invasive species from foreign ecosystems (these are called weeds).

Good luck in your endeavours, we need more people like you.

In the UK the word weeds is usually applied to native plants like the dandelion which know exactly how to proliferate because they are native

Though I completely agree with everything you said.
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Re: Guerrilla Tree Planting

Postby schocker » 05 Sep 2019, 13:46

That is a cool idea. Well done, Joe.
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