As regular blog readers will know, our ‘tree of the month’ features are all about our favourite tree for that particular month. We talk about what makes that tree special and what ties them to that particular time of year. Now, some trees seem tied in our memories to particular times of the year. For me, the apple tree is always ingrained in my thoughts around October time (see my tree story here). As those of you who’ve ever had a Bramley Apple Tree will know, this is the time when you will start to harvest all those lovely apples. However, whilst some months seem forever tied to a particular tree or an experience in your mind, others do not seem to really have a particular tree associated with them. January is one such month...
At first glance it would be quite easy to write of January as a bit of a bleak month in terms of nature and wildlife (or just in general); its slap bang in the middle of winter, days are short and it’s usually freezing. January just seems like one of those months where the garden is at the back of your mind and staying inside, keeping warm and doing a bit of hibernating seems like the sensible thing to do. On the other hand January is the month where we start to get the first inkling that spring is just around the corner. The snow drops begin to start showing and days are actually staying light longer. January is a great time to get out in the garden and do some ‘spring cleaning’ so to speak, in time for the year ahead. Weather permitting; January is actually a great time to plant a native tree out into your garden as they are dormant.
Anyway, with all this in mind, it was actually quite difficult trying to think of a ‘tree of the month’ for January. However armed with a bit of recent research, I have found a great and fitting tree for you this January.
Tree of the Month for January: Silver Birch Tree
The birch tree represents birth and regeneration, quite fitting, I think for the New Year in your garden and symbolic of the changes about to come in the next few months as we head into spring. Birch trees are really rather fast growers in comparison to a lot of other native species: they can grow 16-20ft in 10 years but they won’t grow anywhere near as big as an oak for example. According to tradition, the Birch is also associated with magic done for creativity and fertility, as well as healing and protection. A perfect symbol for this New Year I’d say.