03 Dec 2021

In the garden: Plant trees to protect our future

In the Garden with Jo McGarry from Caragh Nurseries

In the garden: Plant trees to protect our future

Even in smaller gardens you can plant smaller trees like the lilac tree or the amelanchier lamarkii, which are both small trees

There is no doubting the terrible impact of the Covid19 pandemic on our society.

We can only imagine the toll it has, and is taking, on people all over Ireland and our hearts go out to those families and friends who have lost loved ones.

We thank the frontline staff who are putting their lives on the line every day to protect us and our families and friends.

There is, however, one winner in all this - our Earth - and we must now look at how we tackle climate change and sustainability. We should not undo the signs of repair that have been seen over the last couple of months.

In reigniting and repairing our economy, we must have a thought on our environmental impact. We have this opportunity in time so let's not waste it.

NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) pollution monitoring satellites have detected significant decreases in nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a noxious gas emitted by vehicles, power plants, and industrial facilities, in the months since the Covid-19 outbreak began. New York City researchers have found carbon dioxide emissions down 50% compared with the same period last year.

With being a nursery, we always look at what we do as being environmentally friendly. We grow over 100,000 trees and hedging every year - surely that neutralises any carbon footprint we have, but we are still always looking at different ways that we can do more, and assist you to do more.

Well, we can encourage you plant trees firstly, which is a great and beautiful start. Even in smaller gardens you can plant smaller trees like the Lilac tree or the Amelanchier lamarkii, which are both small trees.

The flowering crab apple is another good tree for a small garden, as is the Crateagus Pauls Scarlet, all giving a blast of colour and hence nectar for birds, bees and butterflies.

Try also the Mountain Ash - another smaller tree that gives a crop of berries in the autumn for birds too.

For medium to larger gardens there are so many more options like the Limes.

Tilia Greenspire is lovely lime that is currently in flower. Beech trees are another really popular big tree that is classified as native and is loved by the birds and bees too. We use a sign around the nursery where we have bee loving plants

“If we go, we are taking you with us!”

That is worth thinking about, as bees impact on not only our food but also our lives as we know them.

Our plan this year was to add solar panels to our potting sheds to provide our electricity to run our office, our water pumps and electronic watering systems. hopefully after this current shutdown is over we might just be in a position to do that too. Fingers crossed.

We are, given the current circumstances, looking at increasing our production of native trees. It is something there has been a real interest in and we are working on that.

To all our customers who have been trying to get through to us over the last few weeks, who are sending us emails and social messages, thank you for your interest and your loyalty.

We appreciate you all and if we haven’t answered you we apologise as we are trying to answer each message but the volume has been immense.

I hope I can answer all of your questions here too. Maybe next week I can do a Q&A so if you have any questions that I can answer, email them though to me with the subject Q&A and I will answer as many as possible here next week - hopefully that will be useful to many more people.

Email to

Until then, as always, stay home, stay safe and keep gardening!

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