Health & Trees for Charity

A healthy landscape really can be healthy. We’ve spoken before about shinrin-yoku (forest bathing) and how a walk in the woods can help with mental health. The benefits don’t end there though, and simply being in the presence of trees in your garden can provide a much needed physical boost too. 

Boosting the immune system might be the biggest benefit. The air around trees is full of phytoncides. These are airborne chemicals which trees and plants release to protect themselves from insects. They have antibacterial and antifungal qualities to fight disease, and when we breathe them in our body responds by making what’s called natural killer cells. They might sound nasty but the opposite is true. This particular type of white blood cells seek and destroy tumor and virus infected cells in our bodies.

Photo: ULMUS glabra ‘Pendula’ – Weeping Elm in Wanaka. 

Beautiful Ulmus glabra pendula - Weeping Elm tree, in Wanaka.

The other physical benefits of trees are numerous and we’ll be sharing more about them, in more detailed blog posts, later in the year. It’s important information and when we started digging, it was astounding to discover just how good the company of trees and plants can be.  It’s funny, as we had long thought the reason for the happy staff was the free cookies in the staff room, but maybe being surrounded by trees is the real reason! 

2 different photos of ULMUS glabra pendula - Weeping Elm tree featuring at Otepuni Gardens, Invercargill.
Gorgeous ULMUS glabra pendula, Weeping Elm, in Larnach Castle gardens, Dunedin.

For the time being, what we will share is that according to numerous studies and decades of research, trees and plants can do all these wonderful things:

  • boost the immune system
  • lower blood pressure
  • increase ability to focus, even in children with ADHD
  • accelerates recovery from surgery or illness
  • increase energy level
  • improve sleep

Photo: Larnach Castle Gardens in Dunedin.

Recognising the benefits of trees, we made a tree donation to Southland Hospital, to help patients recover. The tree donated was a ULMUS glabra ‘Pendula’ – Weeping Elm. With strong and graceful pendulous branches, the Weeping Elm has a classic form and rich, green leaves that are ovate to elliptical, and change to a golden hue in Autumn. It has a gentle, calming presence we think well suited to the hospital grounds.  

Sam and Jay from our Production team planting the ULMUS pendula 80L at Southland Charity Hospital.

Next time you feel a cold coming on, maybe the answer isn’t to stay indoors and rug up. Maybe it should be to stay outdoors and rug up. For that matter, maybe more time in the presence of trees might stop that cold from coming on in the first place.

You can also help us to make the difference and to create a world of beauty in our communities when nominating a place or organisation to get our next tree donation. Get in touch now: [email protected]

ULMUS glabra ‘Pendula’ – Weeping Elm

– Deciduous, it will grow to 3 x 3m.
– Suitable for specimen and formal garden settings.
– Graceful pendulous form.

Photo: ULMUS glabra “Pendula” – Weeping Elm in 80L container, 2 to 2.5 meters standard trunk, 8+ years old. 

Looking for more Autumn colours?

If looking out the garden window has you daydreaming about adding more colour to the quickly greying days, then we recommend QUERCUS palustris – Pin Oak. It’s at this time of year when the tree’s pyramidal form resembles a flame, licking up into the sky, with leaves in shades of fiery red and coppery russet. It’s a remarkable tree, full of colours.  A tree to add drama to any Autumn landscape and improve your wellbeing.

QUERCUS palustris – Pin Oak

– Deciduous, it will reach 8 x 6m.
– Suitable for avenue, street planting, car parks and courtyards.
– Neat pyramidal form and beautiful Autumn colour.

Photo: QUERCUS palustris – Pin Oak in 35-45L container, 2.5 to 3 meters, 5+ years old.

Amazing Autumn colours QUERCUS palustris - Pink Oak trees in Queenstown and Ashburton streetscapes.
Testimonial from Brigie, Auckland.
Harry Autumn Planting Tip