October is traditionally the month when tree planting can begin in earnest, given that trees are much less likely to be damaged at this time of year.

Availability of trees for sale is generally scarce over the summer months for that reason, with a real surge in purchases and planting seen thereafter.

Now, perhaps more than ever, the country needs its gardeners – and anyone with even a passing interest in the health of our planet – to get digging.

Schools, youth groups, communities, companies and individuals can and should get involved.


Woodland cover in the United Kingdom is ‘unacceptably low’ according to environmental campaigners, and the official figures do indeed bear that out.

Just 13% of the total land area is covered by trees, and that figure falls to just 10% in England.

Compare and contrast those numbers with France (31%) and Italy (32%), and it’s easy to understand why the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) have noted that “planting more trees is at the heart of our work to protect the environment for future generations.”

The rate of tree planting in England has fallen to its lowest level in more than 40 years, and it’s critical that this is reversed.

To put in perspective what’s needed, the government have an ambition of increasing woodland cover in England to 12% by 2060. Just a 2% increase on current figures will still require 5,000 hectares of tree cover to be added per year – far more than planting levels at present.

Everyone needs to do their bit, and our ‘Dig for Trees’ initiative is being undertaken in support of the Queen’s Green Canopy (www.queensgreencanopy.org). This website also has an interactive map where you can put in details of where and when your tree was planted as well as seeing who else in your community has done the same.

A first planting season for the latter took place during October 2021 and March 2022, and this was extended by Her Majesty The Queen before her untimely passing.

His Majesty The King, now the Patron of the Queen’s Green Canopy, will honour the extension of the initiative to give everyone the opportunity of planting a tree in memoriam of Her Majesty, and for this to serve as a lasting tribute to her lifetime of service to the country.

An ideal tree to plant during the season is the conifer.

Despite its colourful foliage, they are often overlooked by gardeners. However, they are a great example of a species that is hardy and tolerates frost, and which is also bee and ladybird friendly as well as encouraging wildlife to visit the garden.

At Parker’s Garden Company, we have just taken delivery of a large number of conifers and other tree varieties, and for every one sold, we will be donating £1 to a local wildlife charity.

If you’re struggling for inspiration and ideas, our superb plant team can advise on species and best location for planting. Cost needn’t necessarily be an issue either, with a large number of popular varieties available to suit every pocket.

Make sure your tree is cared for properly too because the surrounding environment certainly won’t thank you for planting an unhealthy tree.

Keep it fed and watered before, during and after planting to maintain its magnificence.

Join with us to Dig for Trees and help to make the U.K. a green and pleasant land once more…