Today I had a package delivered from The Woodland Trust, UK based charity that charges itself with the wellbeing of indigenous arboriculture in the UK. I’d ordered a pack fo 4 Juniperus Communis (Common Juniper) and 4 Betula Pendula (Silver Birch) for eventual training as large bonsai. I’d been looking forward to this delivery as I’m very keen on both these species and anxious to bring them to vigorous health before I start training them as Bonsai.
I was hoping that The Woodland Trust would be a reliable and worthwhile source for saplings and raw material for making Bonsai an accessible and therapeutic activity and a channel for creative expression whilst supporting the natural flora of our beautiful countryside. It seems, though, that The Woodland Trust has other ideas.
This is the box the fledgeling trees were delivered in. It’s clearly only meant for 1 pack of 4 trees at best.
As you can see the Junipers had been laid on top. The branches had been crushed flat, and the tops of the trees and been bent to almost 90 degrees against the “pots” of the Silver Birch. The root balls you can see poking out from the Juniperus Communis have very little soil, meaning that the roots were at high risk of dehydration. The Woodland Trust knows it’s going to take about 3 days for the trees to be delivered, so why isn’t more care taken over the health of the roots?
You can see how, after lifting out the Junipers, the way in which these trees were packed left the branches and leaves of the silver birches crushed against the cardboard box. Quite simply I’m amazed at how little effort has gone into the care of the trees, and how little regard The Woodland Trust has for people buying a product. I’ve already made a complaint to The Woodland Trust who’ve asked to see these photos and claimed: “this is not what we expect.”. That does beg the question, though, of who they are employing/contracting to fulfil their tree orders.
I’ve rushed to get the trees into decent draining soil with blocks Bio-Gold fertilizer in the hope that I can avoid any extensive permanent damage, but I confess I am wholly disappointed with The Woodland Trust.
I’d really hoped for a far higher standard from The Woodland Trust, and a lot more care taken of the trees people are buying and cultivating. This was my first purchase from The Woodland Trust, and, I must say, It will probably be my last.