Residents asked to help water new street trees as borough hits 2,500 mark

Residents are being asked to help water the borough’s new street trees during hot weather to help them establish, as councillors celebrated hitting the halfway mark on the Council’s commitment to plant 5,000 by 2022. 

The 2,500th new street tree in the borough was planted in spring at the end of the planting season in Crossway in Dalston - as part of one of the largest urban tree planting programmes in the country.

5,000 new street trees are set to be planted in the borough by 2022, along with 1,000 new trees and 30,000 saplings in parks and green spaces, as part of the Council's commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2040 and respond to the Climate Emergency.

Offering additional greenery, shade and benefits to mental health and wellbeing, the new street trees will see on-street canopy cover increase from 20% to 30% by 2022, playing an important role in filtering polluted air, sequestering carbon, providing more shade and reducing extreme temperatures in the summer and helping to mitigate local flooding.

41 new trees and shrubs have been planted in Crossway by the Council’s street tree team and its highways contractor Marlborough Highways. 

The species planted are a mixture of native and non-native trees, ensuring that trees are appropriate for their setting, and resilient to pests and the changing climate. They include: 

  • Ginkgo biloba (Ginkgo or Maidenhair tree) - the only living species in the order Ginkgoales. Fossils similar to this species have been found that date back to the middle Jurassic period approximately 170 million years ago. It has an unusual fan leaf shape which is green and turns bright yellow in the autumn
  • Liquidambar styraciflua Slender Silhouette (Upright Sweetgum), a columnar tree with colours of orange, yellow and red foliage in the autumn
  • Gleditsia triacanthos (Honey Locust Ruby Lace), a thornless variety with ruby coloured foliage that appears in spring and turns yellow through summer. It is drought and pollution tolerant
  • Sambucus nigra (Black Lace Elder), with lovely dark purple leaves and pink flowers. It is bee and insect friendly and a cordial can be made from its flowers and berries
  • Euonymus europaeus Red Cascade (Spindle Tree), which is nectar rich for bees and has lots of rich autumn colours, small yellow flowers, bright pink and orange fruits
  • Corylus avellana Contorta (Contorted Hazel), with branches that have an unusual twisted form like a corkscrew
  • Fagus sylvatica Black Swan (Weeping purple leaved Beech), which is pollution and shade tolerant
  • Corylus avellana (native Hazel), which produces a nut for protein
  • Corylus avellana Zellernus (FIlbert which is Purple leaved) and has a purple edible nut
  • Cornus sanguinea Anny’s Winter Orange (Orange Dogwood), which has orange-red coloured stems that look particularly striking in winter. 

The mix of species also means an increase in local biodiversity and that the trees are colourful throughout the year. 

While the Council’s street trees are watered twice a week during dry periods, it is urging residents with new street trees to help out wherever they can - working together to give the trees 2-3 litres of water a day or 18-20 litres a week.

Residents can water trees by pouring water into the irrigation pipe, black box or green bag located near the stem of the tree or, if the tree does not have these, into the irrigation pipe or ground at its base. Water can be fresh or used bath, shower or dishwater.

Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville
Reaching this milestone is so important. Our tree planting programme is one of the largest urban programmes in the country and is just one of the ways we want to rebuild a greener Hackney for all of our residents.
Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville
Cllr Mete Coban MBE, Cabinet Member for Energy, Waste, Transport and Public Realm
Much of our programme is focussed on areas where there is less green space, so we can help to increase canopy cover, improve biodiversity and create better neighbourhoods, in Dalston as we saw this week, and throughout all of Hackney.
Cllr Mete Coban MBE, Cabinet Member for Energy, Waste, Transport and Public Realm
Cllr Caroline Woodley, Cabinet Member for Families, Early Years, Parks and Play
Trees are an incredible resource for the borough, with their associated benefits to air quality and wellbeing. While we water trees regularly during dry periods, we’re looking for tree champions throughout the borough to give the new trees every helping hand while the weather is hot. It’s incredibly easy to do and you can use fresh water or used dishwater.
Cllr Caroline Woodley, Cabinet Member for Families, Early Years, Parks and Play