26 November 2019
Letter by John Davis, our parliamentary candidate on National Tree Week...
"Trees are now recognised as the best way to fight the Climate Crisis.
"Scientists say that if we can plant 500 billion trees over the next 20 years it will lock up the carbon output of the past 25 years. However, we also need to take drastic action to reach net zero CO2 output as soon as possible and the Green Party has set the target of achieving this by 2030.
"Of great importance will be the type of trees we plant. For instance silver birch only has a lifespan of 60 to 80 years whereas the ‘mighty’ oaks have been recorded living as long as 1000 years. That’s 1000 years that the carbon is locked up in the tree, plus if you use the wood for construction it will remain locked up for another few hundred years. The oak also has the advantage, along with the sweet chestnut and other nut bearing trees, of being a food source. It is said the American Indians used acorns as a food source to make types of bread and other tasty dishes … in fact you can find some on the internet if you want to try for yourself.
"The hazel is another crop tree that will be of great benefit. They can live over 300 years and at one time they were a staple food source of the UK. It is a little known fact that the Romans introduced sweet chestnut and almond trees into the UK as a food source. Their vision must have been to have a sustainable food source ready for future generations. Having said that, a local farmer who sells cobnuts (a cultivated hazel) will produce fruit in as little as 2 or 3 years if grown from ‘suckers’. Find out more from the Kentish Cobnut Association. https://kentishcobnutsassociation.org.uk/
"Get involved with tree planting with the Woodland Trust’s ‘Great Climate Fight Back’: website