Haringey Council was one of the first local authorities to add their tree sponsorship scheme to the Trees for Streets platform in 2021. Immediately after their scheme launched in the summer, requests came flooding in from all over the borough for trees to be planted in streets.
Lindsay, who lives in the Harringay Ladder area, chose to sponsor a tree outside her house to fill an empty tree pit.
an eagerly awaited tree
We arrived at Lindsay’s house shortly after the tree had been planted one morning in November. Hers was the 2nd tree to be planted in Haringey through the council’s partnership with Trees for Streets.
Our group included Councillor Mike Hakata – Deputy Leader Haringey Council, and Cabinet member for Environment Transport & Climate Emergency, Alex Fraser – Tree & Nature Conservation Manager, and Simeon Linstead – Founder & Director, Trees for Streets.
Lindsay had watched the contractor digging out the pit and planting the tree earlier that morning, and immediately came out to meet us as soon as we arrived, clearly excited that this day had come at last.
A green, tree-lined street is a quality of life issue as far as I’m concerned.
My house is south-facing and one of the reasons I sponsored the tree was to create some shade for the building in our increasingly hot summers.
Replacing a damaged tree
Lindsay explains: “There was a tree in that spot a few years ago, but unfortunately it got damaged and had to be removed. When I saw that Haringey Council were offering tree sponsorship through the Trees for Streets scheme, I went to the online platform and sponsored one – it was really easy.”
Alex Fraser said: “It was a tight squeeze as there was an underground cable running to the edge of the tree pit, but we will always try to get a tree planted if it is requested, even if the location is little challenging.”
The gift of trees
Councillor Mike Hakata is very supportive of the scheme:
I see this tree that Lindsay has sponsored as a gift to the borough, and a gift to everyone living on this street.
It will make a real difference to everyone who lives nearby.
Councillor Mike Hakata
Deputy Leader Haringey Council, and Cabinet member for Environment, Transport & Climate Emergency
Helping to spread the word
Meanwhile Lindsay has been doing her bit to raise awareness of this project, as she’s part of a very active WhatsApp group for the street, and was messaging to let her neighbours know about the scheme while we were there. One fellow resident from a few doors down had already been in touch, and said they were thinking of sponsoring a new tree this winter. So, when we got back to the office, we weren’t surprised to find a new sponsorship request had arrived from that same street.
An emotional connection
Lindsay was very pleased with the Japanese flowering cherry tree that was planted, with its promise of lovely spring blossom and stunning autumn colour. She said that the act of sponsoring the tree, and taking on the job of watering it, meant she felt emotionally connected to it.
We hope that Lindsay is able to encourage more of her neighbours to get involved in sponsoring trees, as there is a fantastic opportunity to really green up this street, adding shade and improving the overall quality of life here for all these residents.