20th November 2020

Join our low-carbon bake-off and we'll send you an apple tree

Myles Powponne, Digital Dynamo

Trees for typeform-03 (1).png

Update: Our low-carbon bake-off is all done, and your creations were worthy of a thousand Paul Hollywood handshakes!!

Baby trees are making their way to our keen green bakers' homes in the next few weeks. Everyone who submitted their creation on this page will receive one, and we'll email to confirm, too.

If you baked but you didn't get an email, please emailΒ trees@octopus.energyΒ with a picture of your bake and your full Octopus account address and we'll sort it for you.



Apple and Cinnamon tear and share

The winner of Β£250 credit and Β£250 donated on their behalf to plant trees in the National Forest was Tina from Scotland who made this beautiful Apple and Cinnamon Tear and Share!



We had so many incredible submissions but here's a few of our picks

Octo-Apple-Pie

Chloe's Octo-Apple Pie

Apple Flowers

Joe's Daughter's Apple Flowers

lattice-pies

James' Lattice-Topped Pies

chocopus-cake

Tessa's Choctopus Cake

Lisa's-octo-pie

Lisa and Constantine's Apple Tart

Our Apple Tree Care Guide 🍏🌲

Planting your tree in the ground?

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Once your tree has arrived, try to plant it as soon as possible, avoiding planting on frosty days or when the soil is frozen or very wet.

Water your tree thoroughly an hour before planting.

  1. Your tree will be happiest in a sunny spot that is sheltered from strong wind and not too close to buildings. For the apples to ripen, your tree needs plenty of sunshine.
  2. Your tree likes to live alone - remove weeds/grass and anything else that will compete for water and nutrients from around the tree base.
  3. Dig a square hole ~3 times the width of the tree roots, but not deeper, keeping the excess soil nearby.
  4. Loosen the roots with your hands so the dirt is not compact, pruning any roots that are damaged or broken.
  5. Plant the tree at the soil level mark with roots below the ground and the stem above.
  6. Add some slow release fertiliser and backfill any gaps with the soil you removed earlier - avoid packing the soil too tightly.
  7. Add a layer of mulch (~5-7.5cm deep) around the base of the tree (bark, compost or well-rotted manure). Make sure the mulch isn't pushed too close to the tree trunk as this can cause rotting.
  8. Keep the stake provided to support the tree whilst it is still young.

Planting your tree in a container?

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  1. Water your tree thoroughly an hour before repotting.
  2. Choose a deep container that is 50 litres (or bigger) in size with drainage holes.
  3. Place the container on hard standing ground and put it on bricks to protect the roots from the frost during winter months.
  4. Fill the container with a mix of soil and compost (we suggest loam based compost).
  5. Dig a square hole to encourage the roots to penetrate the surrounding soil. Circular holes can cause roots to spiral.
  6. Loosen the roots with your hands so the dirt is not compact. This will encourage the roots to spread outwards. Prune any roots that are damaged or broken.
  7. Plant the tree at the soil level mark with roots below the ground and the stem above.
  8. Keep the stake provided to support the tree whilst it is still young.
  9. Water the plant thoroughly and keep it well watered for several weeks.

Your tree will require repotting into a larger container in the first 12 months, then every 2-3 years until it reaches its full height - try to repot in the winter months to minimise the risk of damaging the roots.

Signs that your apple tree is ready for a new home

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  • It looks less healthy than it used to.
  • It is drying out quicker.
  • The roots are growing out of the holes in the bottom of the container.
  • It has been in the same pot for 3 years or more.

Once the tree is fully grown, it will be too big for repotting - you will still need to replace 30-50% of the compost every other year so the tree does not exhaust its supply of nutrients.

Whilst your tree is young and growing, it will need some TLC

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  • In its first year after planting you should check on your tree at least once a week. Give it a good soaking if it hasn’t rained for a week - avoid getting water on the leaves as this encourages disease and leaf scorch.
  • Once the first season is over, just water in periods of hot weather.
  • If the tree is in a container it will need watering more regularly - stick your finger into the first inch of topsoil and if it feels medium dry, water immediately.
  • Your apple tree needs the occasional haircut - It is best to do this in the winter when the tree is dormant. Remove any branches that are growing towards the centre of the tree instead of pointing outwards - these will not get enough sunlight to produce fruit. Next remove any dead, diseased or dying leaves/branches.
  • Remove the competition from around the tree base - weeds.
  • Add mulching every Spring (April-May) or Autumn (October) while it’s young. This keeps the soil moist and nutrient-rich and discourages weeds from growing.
  • Feeding your apple tree will help it to gain the nutrients it needs to fruit. Late winter is an ideal time - we advise using a granular rose fertiliser as these are potassium-rich.
  • If your tree is still in its pot you can move it into a greenhouse or conservatory (somewhere sheltered) when the temperatures begin to drop to protect it from extreme temperatures and frosts.
  • If your tree flowers before the last of the spring frosts, you may need to wrap it in horticultural fleece on frosty nights. This will prevent the flowers being damaged.

We love our carbon sucking friends and would love to see them in their new homes. Please share any photos on Twitter or Instagram! Happy planting!

How to get your own apple tree

πŸ₯§ Bake something tasty with apples before Wednesday 4pm (but ideally Saturday)

🀳 Share a pic for us all to drool over on social – either in the comments of our Facebook post, or tag us on Instagram or Twitter @octopus_energy.

✍️Request your baby tree here.

🌱 We'll send everyone who takes part a baby apple tree of their own to plant! (We've got 300 baby trees to give away, so it's fastest baking tentacles first until they've all been snapped up).

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Our favourite bake will also win the grand prize...

Β£250 credit AND Β£250 donated on their behalf to plant trees in the National Forest.

How do you like them apples?

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DEADLINE: We'd love you to bake this Saturday, when energy is greenest, but you can submit your bake all the way up until Wednesday 25th at 4pm.

When should I bake?

The 'greenness' of the UK's power changes moment to moment, depending on how much green energy is being generated, and how much demand there is for power from the nation's homes and businesses. Naturally, we want to make sure you bake at a time of day that'll generate the least amount of carbon emissions. So, when exactly is that over the next few days? Our green energy boffins have run the numbers.

TL;DR – the best time to bake this weekend is any time between midnight tonight and 4pm Saturday.

Greenest πŸƒ

Between midnight and 4pm on Tuesday, more of the UK's power will come from clean, green renewable sources (mostly wind energy) than usual. Things stay more than a third green until 4pm, when the UK's demand starts to peak.

Dirtiest πŸ’¨

From Tuesday afternoon all the way through to Wednesday afternoon when the comp closes, the proportion of renewables powering the UK dips below 15% and drops as low as 13% when the UK's demand is really high, so try as hard as you can to get your bakes in on Tuesday!

Head to shouldibake.com to easily check out the greenest times to bake over the next few days based on the National Grid's carbon intensity API. Or, Ask Alexa.

*But wait, Octopus, I thought all my power was green, anyway? Our electricity tariffs are all 100% green, meaning we pump the same amount of green electrons into the wires to match the energy you take out to use in your home. But all energy sources in the UK, green and non-green, get mixed together when they enter the system, so what arrives at your home is still a mix of everything – and that mix can be much greener, or much dirtier, depending on the time of day. You can learn more about all the ways we're green here.

Some Octopus biscuits on a plate

Bonus points if you can make your bake octopus-themed...

These babies were baked today by energy specialist Sean's lovely girlfriend Claire, in celebration of his two year Octoversary.

image of Myles Powponne

Myles Powponne

Digital Dynamo

Hey I'm Constantine, welcome to Octopus Energy!

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