The Australians play a good game of cricket; they also have a wonderful way with plants. Melbourne, in particular, is doing its bit for Nature by mapping every tree in the city and giving it a unique ID number.
The city’s council believes that planting more trees could bring down Melbourne’s sizzling summer temperatures and help people breathe more easily.
The idea has become so popular that some trees have received emails thanking them for extracting carbon dioxide from the air. And English elms have been asked for their views on the Ashes series…
Britain, too, needs more trees; not just the odd sapling, but millions spread across the land.
It’s something this country’s Tree Council has been advocating for years, and although many people – both individuals and organisations – have taken up the challenge to make Britain a greener place, there is still plenty of room left for improvement – and room for plenty more trees.
At the moment, woodland cover in this country is less than 20 per cent. That’s quite an increase since 1980 when it was only just over nine per cent, but the UK is still one of the least-wooded countries in Europe and we all need to do something about it.
Which is why if you have the space (and it needn’t be a lot) and have been dithering about how to fill it, consider a tree.
There are so many varieties, from small to gigantic, wide to model stick slim, evergreen, deciduous, floriferous, that you are spoilt for choice.
And if you haven’t got the garden or the space, you may be able to get permission (get it in writing) to plant a tree or trees on village greens, school grounds, city farms and road verges.
Autumn is a good time to plant trees because the soil is still warm from summer, so there’s still plenty of time to make your choice and prepare the site.
Trees aren’t just beautiful; they are valuable in many other ways: from improving the quality of our lives, to moderating the climate and as habitats for wildlife.