Further 2,500 street trees to be planted this winter

A further 2,500 street trees are set to be planted this winter as part of plans to tackle the climate crisis and rebuild a greener Hackney after the pandemic.

The rollout of the thousands of new trees began last month, marked by a tree planting ceremony on Flanders Way in Homerton.

The 2,500 trees are set to be planted across the borough, and form part of the Council’s commitment to plant over 5,000 new street trees between 2018 and 2022, alongside over 30,000 new trees and saplings in Hackney's parks and open spaces.

Representing one of the largest urban street tree planting programmes in the country, on-street tree canopy coverage is set to increase from 20 to 30%, helping to sequester carbon, filter air, mitigate local flooding by improving drainage, and cool streets during the hot weather that is becoming more prevalent as a result of climate change.

The seven new trees in Flanders Way were planted by the Council’s street tree team and its highways contractor Marlborough Highways, with the Mayor of Hackney, cabinet members and local councillors joining officers to plant the final tree. They were chosen to provide year-round interest and improve biodiversity and include:

  • Betula ermanii (Holland) - Erman's Birch - a heat tolerant birch, with heart shaped bright green leaves in the spring and summer, which turn yellow in the autumn.
  • Lagerstroemia indica (Sarah's Favorite) - Crape Myrtle. It has smooth bark and mottled grey, pink and dark green leaves that turn flame red in autumn. Blooms of flowers are borne in late summer.
  • Sorbus commixta (Olympic Flame) - Chinese Scarlet Rowan. Also known as Dodong, this tree originates from Japan and turns a stunning orange red in autumn. It is upright in form, has flowers in the spring and orange berries in the autumn which is great for biodiversity.
  • Pyrus calleryana Chanticleer - Ornamental Pear named after the cockerel in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. It has wonderful autumn colours of reds and orange, and white flowers in the spring for pollinators.

The Council plants a variety of species on streets in order to future-proof its planting by building-in diversity and resilience to a changing climate.