Did you plant a tree on National Tree Day?

MY TREE: Eucalyptus Forresterae (Little Star) Photo by Bronwyn Haynes.

MY TREE: Eucalyptus Forresterae (Little Star) Photo by Bronwyn Haynes.

It was National Tree Day on Sunday July 30. Everyone was encouraged to plant a native tree, especially children. Planet Ark’s latest research shows teachers believe critical thinking and problem solving, grit or resilience, and emotional intelligence are the skills kids will need most to face global challenges.

International and local research featured in their research report shows time in nature helps kids to develop these key skills. So, Tree Day is a great opportunity for kids to get outside and grow for the future!

This year, legendary photographer Steve Parish OAM, is an ambassador for Tree Day.

Steve has been photographing the Australian landscape, flora and fauna for over 50 years and is passionate about connecting people - especially children - to nature. It is not too late to plant a tree.

Visit your local nursery and choose a tree indigenous to this area to plant. Follow this simple guide to plant a native tree.

Step 1: Digging the hole

The hole should be twice as deep and twice as wide as the pot the plant is in. In hard soils you can use a fork to loosen the soil around the edge of your hole. Also, you should fill the hole with water and let it soak away before you put your plant in.

Step 2: Soak the potting mix

Soak the pot the seedling is in by placing the plant pot in a bucket of water until it stops bubbling (just make sure you don’t put the entire plant under water! Leave the leaves poking out).

This helps get rid of air around the plant’s roots and makes it easier to get the plant out of the container.

Step 3: Remove the plant from the container

Be careful not to touch or crush the roots too much. The soil and root ball should come away from the pot easily, but if not, you can tap the edge of the container lightly with a small garden tool, or squeeze the pot a little, to loosen the soil.

Step 4: Backfill soil

When your seedling is in its hole, push soil back in all around the seedling’s roots, making sure you fill it in on all sides. Push down firmly on the soil you have filled into the hole, and make a small ‘bowl’ around the plant to collect any rain that may fall. Always water your new plants immediately after they have been planted, to settle the soil and get rid of any air pockets.

Lastly, place a tree guard around your special little tree to protect it from rabbits, possums and digging and damage by dogs and cats.