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Adopt and water a tree

Tree pit adoption 

As part of our community gardening initiative, residents are encouraged to apply in December to adopt street tree pits for planting with wild flowers. This is a fantastic opportunity to bring together neighbours, help your street bloom and encourage wildlife to thrive.

The application period is over and we received an overwhelming response to adoption and over 1,300 tree pits have been adopted across the borough. Successful applicants should be contacted in January to confirm adoption and to be provided with adopted labels to attach to the trees.

Watering and adopting a new tree

From February 2021 we will be planting replacement street trees with blue labels on them and we would like your help to adopt and water the tree outside your house without having to complete a tree pit adoption application.

If you can adopt and water the new tree, then you should adhere to the same Terms and conditions as the adoption agreement to keep you safe and the tree healthy. If you would like to continue next year we would like you to officially adopt the tree in December.

The newly planted trees and the adopted tree pits will not be included as part of our weed treatment programme, so maintenance from residents is encouraged and appreciated.

Terms and conditions

  • When working on the street you must be sensible and safe. You may not work from the road and you must be aware of other users of the street (pedestrians and vehicles).
  • All adoptions are for a minimum of one year, at the end of the year you must re- notify us of your intention to adopt the pit.
  • Only the use of hand tools are permitted and the use of scythes, machetes and similar single bladed tools are not permitted.
  • Gloves should be worn and please be aware that there may be broken glass in the tree pit.
  • You may not plant anything apart from wild flower seeds.
  • You may not dig in the tree pit or otherwise disturb the tree roots.
  • You may lightly till the surface of the tree pit to plant wild flower seeds.
  • You may not apply any pesticides.
  • Wild flowers must be cut down in the winter in preparation of the new growing season.
  • If wildflowers droop into the road or over the footpath then these should be cut back to remove the obstruction.

In addition to this:

  • You may litter pick and keep the tree pit and footway outside you house clear of rubbish.
  • You may remove low branches and low tree growth that are smaller in diameter than your thumb, only using secateurs and you should only remove branches to head height, please do not prune trees during the first three years of planting and do not prune branches overhanging a parked vehicle.
  • Young trees that still have a support stake may be watered during the spring and summer period and 2 litres of water a day will help the tree establish.
  • You will be responsible for the disposal of all cut material.


Please see our website pages for council treesweed control and Sprucing up your neighbourhood for related information.


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