How many farmers does it take to plant a tree? The answer is as many as will be in the queue for a share of £32m from our Welsh Government.
I grew up surrounded by trees and quite a few thickets too. Trees were to be climbed up in my neck of the woods on the Bryn in Llanelli. That or chopped down for the centre pole on bonfire night or as my dear old Dad would maintain, fuel for the winter months.
Incredibly the sleeping red dragon or yellow flower of Plaid Cymru has stirred on this with Mabon Ap Gwynfor providing a call for those Net Zero obsessives to make sure the trees are planted on farmland not used for food production. Perhaps Mr Ap Gwynfor is struggling to get through the thickets to make his point but he states that Welsh Government or rather the welly brigade receiving £32m should plant “the right tree in the right place for the right reason”. I am sure mother nature will be listening intently to the plans and relishing what she/her/him/he/they will do whether it be storms or some new disease. One wonders how many trees have to fall before the politicians hear the sound of children’s hunger.
The rocket scientists among you will be reassured by this statement and the 60’s generation who remember using a stick to whack acorns at each other and throw helicopter seeds up into the air will be positively biting down hard on their hazelnuts bemused by the continual casting to the wind of good money after bad.
For those who are not arborists the helicopter seeds come from four different trees, the field maple, ash, sycamore, and Norway maple. Acorns come from Oak trees and hazelnuts come covered in chocolate in a gold wrapper.
Meanwhile another one of Plaid Cymru’s finest is calling for free school meals for secondary school children. Now I ain’t the sharpest chainsaw in the shed but I would bet a falling acorn growing into an oak tree without a farmer in sight that £32m would go a long way to putting sausage, beans and chips on plastic plates in schools. There may even be enough left over for some apple tart which makes you ever so full and ready to go on that field trip to the local woods to see how trees drop seedlings and miraculously grow new trees.
We are not anti tree here in the tremendous tree covered Gwendraeth Valley. On the contrary; we love trees and understand fully the power of the humble leaf in soaking up carbon dioxide. While whole swathes of rainforests are cut down and forest fires rage across the world and the Russia Ukraine war rages unleashing more pollution no one is in any doubt here that trees need planting around the world. Why then are the most polluted roads in Llanelli not planted with trees? Now that is an answer we have to try to extract from the thickets if one dares to ask the question for fear of being labelled as deadwood.