30 August 2022
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For some people, trees are just magic. Dominic is one of those people, and we met with him to talk about the tree he sponsored in his neighbourhood of Bethnal Green and how he wants to do his bit for the next generation.

Paying it forward

Dominic and his partner have lived in Bethan Green for 20 years. Like a lot of streets in this area, heavy bombing during the war left many areas without any trees.

On the other hand, the sites of some flattened houses were turned into green spaces in the years following the war, providing a haven of nature and trees for people living in this part of London. One of these parks is close to Dominic’s home in Bethnal Green, and is now full of beautiful mature trees. He says that he feels so grateful to the people who made this happen many years ago.

Dominic and his partner are true tree lovers. The pair even got married at Spitalfields Farm, where they had an eco-wedding and gave out Pear and Quince trees as gifts. So when he heard about the trees for streets scheme via the local council newsletter, he wanted to get involved so that he could pay it forward and pass on the gift of trees onto the next generation.

Tough trees for a tough city

After Dominic sent in his application to sponsor a tree, it turned out that the street he wanted to plant it on wasn’t suitable due to utility pipes and cables underground. This is one of the big challenges for planting urban street trees, and the tree team at Tower Hamlets Council are used to being creative when it comes to finding suitable planting spots.

Instead, it was agreed that the tree would be planted on the next street over. Dominic is happy with this as he still gets to enjoy his tree!

He took on the responsibility of watering the tree himself, which means that he’s often out with a watering can at 10.30 pm when walking his dog! He was a bit worried about how the tree would cope with the very hot summer we had this year, but we assured him that the autumn rain should help it get really well established.

As Dominic said, Bethnal Green is a tough inner city area and needs to have tough trees – the pit it was planted in once held a tree that got knocked over by a vehicle.

More trees mean happier people

Dominic said that he’s really keen to get more fruit trees planted in the area, as not only do they offer many environmental benefits, but people can eat the fruit. There are lots of food banks in the area and one of the neighbour’s cherry trees regularly gets cleared of its fruit overnight.

Dominic said that he has loved being part of the Trees for Streets scheme and is proud for doing his bit to contribute something to the area and the next generation.

This scheme is amazing, and I think that Tower Hamlets council deserve a lot of credit for getting involved – I’d recommend it to anyone.

Trees are magic and there’s never any downside to planting more of them!


Trees have so many benefits

The benefits that trees bring to urban areas are amazing.

They help us by:

  • Improving our mental and physical health 
  • Absorbing air pollution
  • Protecting from flooding
  • Encouraging calm and careful driving 
  • Reducing littering and fly-tipping
  • Making our neighbourhoods better places to live.

Sponsor a tree on your street

If you’re inspired to help fill your street with trees, then please use our online sponsorship request app, which lets you pick a location on our interactive map.