Adopt and water a tree

Tree pit adoption applications 2023 

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

The application period for 2023 adoptions closed on Sunday 18th December 2022. Successful applicants will be contacted to confirm adoption and will receive seeds and tree labels by 20 January 2023.

All successful applicants must follow the Terms and Conditions set out below to keep you safe and the tree healthy.


Pollinator Pathways, insect friendly streets for Redbridge

Bees, moths, flies, butterflies, wasps and beetles are all small but vital. They move pollen to fertilise plants, so they produce seeds and fruit. But, these creatures, as well as birds and small mammals, such as hedgehogs are under threat from factors like habitat loss, climate change and pesticide use.

We are committed to improving habitats and food sources for pollinators in Redbridge to reverse their rapid decline, and the Pollinator Pathways scheme is one way to get involved and help too.

We’ll support you and your neighbours to keep your street pesticide free and create your own haven for minibeast heroes. Please email us to apply or for more information.


Watering and nurturing a new street tree

We plant street trees between November and March and attach a blue label asking for help to take care of and water them. You can help young street trees by watering them during the spring and summer period; 2 litres of water a day or, if you are watering less often, 5 litres every few days will help. Please keep safe: do not stand on the road when watering and be aware of other users of the street (pedestrians and vehicles).

If you "unofficially" adopt and water the new tree you should still adhere to the Terms and Conditions below - these are to keep you safe and ensure the tree is maintained properly. If you would like to continue next year we would like you to officially adopt the tree pit when we reopen the application process in the Autumn.

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 maximum of one year, at the end of the year you must re-notify us of your intention to adopt the pit
  • Do not install any structures, such as a wooden border, or raise the soil level above the level of the footpath
  • Only the use of hand tools are permitted; however, 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 and other litter 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
  • If wildflowers droop into the road or over the footpath then these should be cut back to remove the obstruction
  • At the end of the growing season and when sown plants have died, cut and remove sown plants ready for the next season

In addition to this:

  • You may litter pick and keep the tree pit and footpath outside your home clear of rubbish
  • You may remove low branches and low tree growth that are smaller in diameter than your thumb; only use 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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