Boroughbridge Grandmother’s big tree idea

Landscape supplier Green-tech frequently donates products for worthy causes and were only too happy to help a Boroughbridge grandmother’s idea take root for the future.

Monday, 11th October 2021, 7:55 am

Janet Willoner, 77, contacted the team to ask for their help with her ambitious plan to grow 5,000 trees by the time she is 85 and they provided compost, grit, and fertiliser.

“In September 2019 my grandchildren who live in Scotland were heavily involved in the School Strikes for Climate movement,” explained Janet.

“They were extremely well informed on all aspects of climate change and were prepared to stand outside the Scottish parliament in all weathers, miss school and then make up their lessons in their own time.

“I was impressed with their commitment and felt ashamed that I was living through these times and had done nothing about climate change.”

She said that joining a demonstration and waving a placard wasn’t her thing so considered planting trees.

But Janet added: “Then I remembered I wasn’t 21 anymore and planting trees would be too strenuous. I was about to give up when the idea came - if you can’t plant trees, then grow them from seed!

“We need a lot more trees and locally grown trees are much better adapted to our climate than those shipped from abroad.

“The idea suited me because I have green fingers and love growing all sorts of plants.

“I enjoy foraging, so collecting the seeds would be a pleasure and I would be doing a bit to help and enjoying myself at the same time!

“So, I hatched a plan to grow and nurture 5000 trees ready for planting before I reached age 85.”

She collected acorns, sweet chestnuts, hazelnuts and berries and learned through trial and error how to grow and by March she had 400 seedlings.

Janet discovered Make it Wild and owners Chris and Helen Neave took 300 saplings for a wild reserve in Nidderdale and the rest went to Longlands Common tree nursery.

During 2021 Janet has raised in the region of 800 seedlings and those large enough, will be planted out this November.

She added: “Several of my friends help by collecting their empty juice and milk cartons which I use as plant pots.

“I’m also extremely grateful to Green-tech who are sponsoring me and providing compost, grit and fertiliser.

“This is a massive help which will enable me to continue growing trees to benefit future generations and mitigate the effects of climate change.”

Boroughbridge-based Green-tech has agreed that they will deliver the necessary supplies as and when Janet needs them.

Janet added that this has helped to produce another batch of several hundred saplings which will eventually be planted in the Northern Forest.

Green-tech’s Marketing Director Kate Humes added: “Janet is a remarkable woman and an inspiration to us all.

“I am delighted to be able to donate professional grade compost, grit and fertiliser to help with her personal quest, which will benefit generations to come.

“It’s amazing to see what one determined lady has achieved.”