21 August 2023
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Leeds residents, businesses and community groups now have the power to green their streets. Trees for Streets, the National Street Tree Sponsorship Scheme, has arrived in the city.

Leeds City Council have chosen to pilot the scheme this year, with the purpose of getting local communities more involved in local tree planting and after-care.

It’s a charity-led initiative, whereby locals can request to sponsor and look after a street tree, at a location of their choosing. Neighbours can even club together to fund new trees.

Trees for Streets works in partnership with Leeds City Council to get the trees planted. The charity engages with the local community, whilst the council manages the planting of the sponsored trees at the requested locations. The scheme is being heavily subsidised by the White Rose Forest, the local community forest for North and West Yorkshire.

Sponsor a tree in three simple steps

  1. Visit treesforstreets.org/Leeds to choose a location for a new tree, answer a few simple questions about it, and submit your sponsorship details. The rest is taken care of for you.
  2. The council will survey the location to check for suitability.
  3. If acceptable, a 3-4 metre ‘instant-impact’ tree will be planted, between November and April.

During the summer months the residents take on the job of watering their sponsored trees.

(Please note, during the pilot period, the city council is offering new street tree planting into grass verge locations outside residents’ homes. It hopes to offer planting into hard surface locations in due course.)

Why are urban trees so important?

Alarmingly, tree cover in England is amongst the lowest in Europe. This impacts resilience to the climate crisis, rising temperatures and increasingly severe weather – particularly in towns and cities.

Street trees act as natural air conditioners, providing shade on hot days and cooling the air through a process called evapotranspiration. They also help us cope with heavy rain and protect from flooding. Their roots absorb huge amounts of water, and their leaves and branches collect rain water as it falls.

Street trees offer huge benefits for our health and wellbeing too. They make us feel better, encourage exercise, and bring communities together. Plus, they make our neighbourhoods more beautiful and welcoming.

“Trees breathe life into our streets. They transform them. By working in partnership with Leeds City Council, our aim is to empower locals to make their neighbourhoods greener and healthier.” – Simeon Linstead, Project Director, Trees for Streets.

To sponsor a tree in Leeds, visit treesforstreets.org/Leeds

Not in Leeds? Search our council database to see if your council is taking part.

Got a question? – send us an email team@treesforstreets.org

Hannah watering her sponsored tree