In the past couple of weeks, Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust has been busy planting some 3,500 new trees alongside the North Edinburgh path network – a mixture of smaller species that won’t tend to block the light and sightlines, such as silver birch, rowan, hazel, cherry, hawthorn and alder, and some larger specimens – oak and Scots pine (which is Scotland’s new national tree).
The planting is the culmination of the work the Trust has been carrying out over the winter to cut back and thin many of the trees whose branches were blocking light and sight lines, were dangerous or simply growing in the wrong place. We’ve been able to tackle some blackspots, such as the dense laurel at the underpass going into Victoria Park which has been drastically cut back.
Along the Goldernacre path, one of the banks has been plagued with Himalayan balsam and Japanese knotweed. Over the past two years we’ve been running regular drop in sessions with local volunteers to pull up the balsam with the result that it’s now almost gone. Equally, the council have been tackling the knotweed and it too has all but gone.
The bank is now bare and barren. By planting the trees now, they won’t be choked by the invasive species and once the trees have grown and begun to form a canopy, the shade will outcompete any remaining plants, allowing other, native species to become established.
The planting was supported by the Central Scotland Green Network and match funded by the City of Edinburgh Council and hopefully we’ll all be seeing the benefits for years to come and watch them grow.