2022 is jubilee year, and across the country people are planting trees as a dedication to Her Majesty, and that’s exactly what Harrow couple Margaret and David decided to do when they sponsored a new street tree outside their home.
Seeing our sponsors in action
It’s always nice to visit a familiar face and witness just how much joy a newly planted tree can give. This is exactly what happened when we went out to visit the newly planted trees in Harrow back in May. Although we knew Margaret very well, as we’d worked closely with her recently, we hadn’t been expecting to see her during our visit. But as we arrived early at the tree she’d sponsored, we ran into her husband David, with his watering can in hand, giving the tree a good drink.
We often run into our sponsors watering these trees, which is really heartening. Margaret came out to speak to us, and it was wonderful to meet in person after so much talking on the phone and via email.
Greening their street
Margaret and David originally heard about the Trees for Streets scheme from their local Tree Officer, Jamie. They had recently lost a tree from outside their home, after it unfortunately became diseased and had to go. The scheme provided the perfect opportunity to quickly and easily get the tree replaced – and even better, the new tree was already a good size!
The couple were clearly delighted with their new tree. They commented on how large and healthy it was, which is because our council partners always plant trees that are mature enough to make an immediate impact. They told us that the tree had only just finished flowering, and they were happy to have experienced the blossom so soon after planting.
Bringing nature back
When they moved into their home almost 50 years ago, the local streets were full of trees. Sadly, over the years more driveways and developments have replaced green spaces in the area. And very few street trees have been replaced.
They told us that they moved in after an old tree had been removed, and the sparrows set-up home in their gable. They’re hoping that when the newly planted tree gets bigger, the sparrows might prefer to live there instead!
Margaret and David are nature lovers. They have a large oak tree and a stream at the back of their house, and their garden is visited by woodpeckers and owls. It’s wonderful that nature is thriving in this part of London!
Trees for the Jubilee
Margaret was so pleased with her tree, she thought, why not try to get some more planted in the street?
When I heard that trees could be dedicated to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, I thought it was a lovely idea. I spoke to the neighbours to ask them to donate some money towards sponsoring one more tree to be planted this coming winter.
People chipped in anything from £10 to £50, so it actually didn’t take long to raise enough for two more trees for our street.
People have fundraised in a similar way in lots of the areas Trees for Streets is working – it’s brilliant that communities are coming together to green their neighbourhoods like this.
In Harrow, a sponsored tree where residents do the watering, costs £195. This covers the cost of a semi-mature, 3-4 metre tall tree (usually 7+ years old), protective cage, wooden stakes, watering back, planting, pit creation, and basic maintenance. Needless to say the council are covering more than half of the total cost, which can be more than twice the donation amount.
Spreading the word
Margaret and David would love to see even more nature return to the area and hope that their tree sponsorship might inspire others to do the same. We often find that when people see a newly planted tree, they want to get involved too.
This is one of the reasons we put a label with a QR code linking to our website on the new trees. Margaret thought this was a really clever idea.
Once you visit the website, you simply select your preferred planting location on our interactive map, answer a few simple questions and submit your request to sponsor a tree. If all is ok with the location, a few months later a tree will be planted.
Trees bring so many benefits
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 the neighbourhoods where we live nice and more pleasant.
Sponsor a tree on your street
Trees for Streets enables people to bring nature back to their neighbourhood, even if they don’t have a garden.
If you’d like to fill your street with trees, then please use our online sponsorship request app, which lets you pick a location on our interactive map.