Think Global Plant Local

17 April 2019

Think Global, Plant Local - this is the message being delivered to the UK government by Confor - the Confederation of Forest Industries, see The UK currently has only 13% forest cover, compared to the EU average of around 37%, and is the second largest net importer of wood products, after China. Protecting existing trees and growing new trees is one of the best ways of reducing carbon footprints while also protecting the environment, enhancing biodiversity, storing rainwater, and providing wonderful environments for people to enjoy. And in our gardens and landscapes, we can contribute to this. Large mature trees are particularly important, yet we are often overly timid in our species choices, felling wonderful old veteran trees unnecessarily out of misplaced fear for our safety, and replacing with small trees which will never make the same visual or environmental contribution. A good landscape professional can advise on how to co-exist with any existing trees, and design spaces that work in harmony with them, as well as specifying appropriate new planting. At Chameleon Design we consider mature trees to be part of irreplaceable site capital, and we look at how we can sensitively integrate them into new designs. In the photo below we retained the mature conifers to add maturity to the large new garden, just removing some lower branches to allow a path to pass underneath, and planting around them with a tapestry of shade tolerant groundcover. Conifers are good for bats and birds because they provide warm shelter in Winter months. In the mid ground you can see a beautiful young Tilia henryana, a kind of Lime tree with a fascinating serrated edge leaf, which will grow to an eventual height of 25m. We don't specify new planting irresponsibly - a lovely flowering Crab Apple may be exactly right for a small garden - but where possible we encourage clients to think big and embrace planting for the future with trees which will one day be majestic. What a great legacy to leave for future generations!


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