‘The window is closing!’ Garden pro shares ‘tangible’ impact climate change has on plants

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The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26 will continue for another week in Glasgow, Scotland. The conference brings together representatives from up to 190 countries along with citizens, Government representatives, negotiators and agencies to discuss how to tackle climate change and agree on global and national targets. Climate change is causing more extreme weather including hotter and longer heatwaves, more persistent droughts and more extreme rainfall.

However, climate change is also having an impact on our trees and plants.

Shorter winters mean that spring bulbs are flowering and trees are coming into leaf earlier.

Plants and trees have less time to rest which can cause pants to be weaker and become more susceptible to diseases and new pests.

Managing Director of Hopes Grove Nurseries, Morris Hankinson explained to Express.co.uk how the traditional season used to be longer but it has shortened due to milder weather.

Morris explained: “The traditional season used to be November until the beginning of May.

“But now it’s much more November until the end of March.

“The window is closing because trees are hanging onto their leaves later and they’re coming into growth earlier in the spring because the climate is warming.

“What we do in the spring at the end of the season we put our trees in a cold store so they still think it’s winter.

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“That way, we can keep going until the beginning of May like we used to.”

Morris said warmer temperatures are “most definitely” having an impact on certain plants and trees.

The plant pro said he has noticed certain plants growing now when they shouldn’t be.

He added: “We’ve got laurels in pots that have decided they’re going to grow again because it’s so mild.

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“It should have stopped by now. You see some very funny things flowering at odd times of year more and more.

“It’s very tangible, you can see it.”

Morris said now is the time of year to plant bare root trees and shrubs which are particularly environmentally friendly.

They are more environmentally-friendly because they are grown naturally in the soil in nursery fields and don’t need plastic pots and compost.

Bare root plants also require less fertiliser and water.

These plants are also cheaper than their pot-grown counterparts and are easier to transport as they are sold without compost or soil around the roots.

The season for bare root plants usually runs from November until around April.

Hopes Grove Nurseries was established 27 years ago and grows approximately one million hedge plants in 50 acres of land in Tenterden, Kent.

The nursery also delivers fresh plants to thousands of customers across the UK, and over the last year they’ve seen record numbers of people buying from them.

The nurseries also regularly supply plants for the ITV show Love Your Garden.

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