How planting a family tree could be one of the most empowering activities you’ll ever do with your child
Planting a family tree doesn’t just help your child connect with nature, but it’s a great way to help the environment and local wildlife too. And better yet, it’s the perfect excuse for the whole family to get outside and bond without screens.
Planting a family tree doesn’t just help our children to form a stronger connection with nature. It also helps children improve their responsibility and develop a deep sense of achievement as they see the tree growing taller and stronger.
Above all, planting a family tree will empower your child to realize that, despite the devastation from forest fires, current events, and other scary things that seem out of their control, they can still make a positive difference in the world around them.
It’s also a lovely way to show your child the importance of doing something for others; leaving behind a beautiful tree that provides fruit or shade to your neighbors, new residents, and future generations.
In fact, psychological research has revealed that children who have this early contact with nature benefit from better mental health.
“I believe that society benefits when young children get out, get their hands in the earth, and plant trees. Planting trees and shrubs is a great way for kids to connect to the environment and their community.” - Olivia Newton-John
How long will it take to plant a family tree?
Planting a tree should take approximately 2- 3 hours and is a suitable activity for all ages, with appropriate adult supervision.
When should I plant a family tree?
The best time to plant a family tree is when the soil is warm. In most parts of the country, this would be autumn, spring or summer.
How to plant a family tree
Choose your location. You don’t want to plant a tree anywhere near underground cables or water pipes. Check the location of these before planting.
Also, look up! Are there any overhead obstacles that might get in the way of your tree as it grows. Phone lines, other trees, etc.
Also, be sure to check the ideal environment for your chosen tree. Some trees prefer more shade, some want more water. Speak with your local gardening center when buying your tree for advice. This will help you position the tree in your garden for proper growth.
Choose the right tree
Remember to let your children be involved in the decision process of choosing a tree. They’ll be excited to be part of it!
For smaller gardens, look for a tree that will grow into a smaller size, both in height and width.
It’s also recommended that you choose a native species if possible, as this will increase the chances of the tree staying healthy and providing wildlife with a food source, depending on your chosen tree. For non-native trees, choose a hardy tree for your area.
While it’s tempting to choose a tree that’s ready to “drop-in” to a landscape, it’s often recommended to choose a smaller specimen to plant, as it will be able to recover and grow faster than a large nursery specimen that has been transported more often (causing shock in the tree.)
When choosing a tree, watch out for broken branches and check to ensure the roots are white as this means the roots are healthy.
Plant your tree.
There are five steps to plant your tree in your chosen area.
- Remove the tree from the pot.
- Gently tease out any matted or congested roots.
- Stand the tree in hole and position in the center, making sure it sits roughly at the same level as the surrounding soil.
- Backfill with a mix of the soil and compost.
- Tighten the soil and water.
Remember, this is a kids' activity too! It’s important to let your child help as much as possible and don’t worry about the mess.
As the tree grows, keep your child engaged in the process by asking them questions about it.
What color are the leaves in autumn?
Do birds nest in the tree?
How does the bark change through the seasons and over the months and years?
How does the tree help wildlife and the environment?
Keeping your child engaged will help them to stay connected with their achievement and with nature in general.
Finally, remember to name your tree!
Here’s a cute idea. Use a weatherproof sign that has your tree's botanical name, common name, and a name that your child has chosen for it.
And, don’t forget to take a family photo to mark the occasion, so you can look back in years from now at a wonderful memory that you and your child will never forget.
Each year, why not take another photo and see your tree grow along with your little one, until that tiny tree becomes as tall and strong as your child does too.
Want to do more to help restore wildlife and the environment?
Planting a tree with your child is a beautiful way to help them learn more about the importance of trees and connect with nature. However, this can extend beyond your backyard.
With every purchase of our Habitat Restoration Bands, you can help restore habitats destroyed in the recent wildfires.
In a time when children feel vulnerable and helpless during natural disasters, this is one simple thing you can do to give them hope, a sense of control and responsibility in the world around them.
With 80% of Koala habitats destroyed in the recent Australian bushfires, restoration efforts are on their way and we are proud to give a helping hand and plant one tree for every bracelet sold on our store.
Purchase your Habitat Restoration Band exclusively from our store here.
Each one of us can make a difference, together we create change!