Adopt and water a tree

Tree pit adoption 

As part of our community gardening initiative, residents are encouraged to apply 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 closed on Tuesday 30 November 2021. Successful applicants have been contacted to confirm adoption and be provided with a label for the tree. We provided packs of wild seeds to successful applicants, however, stocks were limited and only sent to those who applied early.

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

Watering and adopting a new tree

When we plant street trees between November and March we attach a blue label and we would like your help to adopt and water the tree outside your house. If you were able to complete the tree pit adoption form above by the 30 November 2021 then this would confirm the adoption; however, if you can’t make the application you can still adopt the tree without having to complete the tree pit adoption application.

If you adopt and water the new tree, without completing the adoption form, 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 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.

As a result of Storm Eunice we have been concentrating on completing emergency works and this delayed our highway tree planting programme. As a result of this delay, you may see a few more tree stumps and empty tree pits than usual at this time of the year on highways across Redbridge. The majority of the empty pits will be planted up in April 2022; however,  there will be some stumps left on the streets this year.

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
  • Added condition 14 September 2021: 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 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
  • Added condition 14 September 2021: 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 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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