11 July 2022
Share this story

It always feels special when multiple generations of one family are involved in sponsoring a tree. Meet the Sams family, who  sponsored a beautiful new fruit tree on the street near their home in the Kempston area of Bedford. We recently went to visit and find out about their Trees for Streets experience.

The first of many to come…

The Sams family were over the moon with the new Ornamental Pear Tree (Pyrus Calleryana Chanticleer) which was planted next to their house through our scheme, by Bedford Borough Council. Sadly when we visited it had just finished blossoming, but the Sams’ had obviously taken great delight in the show of spring flowers it had produced.

The planting of this tree was a real milestone for their street as it was the very first Trees for Streets tree to be planted there. Hopefully, it will be the first of many!

Sponsor a tree

Andrew Sams had heard about our charity street tree sponsorship scheme via a local council officer who’d posted details on a Facebook community group. He found the Bedford Council page on the Trees for Streets website and made a request . All he had to do was select the location he wanted to plant in and answer a handful of simple questions to submit his sponsorship. It turned out his selected location was ideal for street trees, and a few months later, the pear tree was planted.

A family affair

When the Trees for Streets team visited the Sams family, we were greeted by three generations of the family. Grandmother Elizabeth, was in fine spirits!

Planting a tree is a great way to strengthen family roots and it’s wonderful to think of the grandchildren seeing it grow and learning to enjoy a special bond with nature.

Watering the tree

During our visit, we chatted about the tree’s watering requirements. Typically, newly planted street trees need about 50 litres a week during the summer. Being a family affair, we were told that the Sams’ children have been given the job of watering the tree.

They get most of their water from a rainwater butt at the side of the house, which is a fantastically efficient way to keep the tree replenished. Did you know that you can even use your used bath water to water trees and plants to save resources?

Greening up their street

The Sams’ tree is the first to be planted in their street or the adjoining street. Andrew and his wife Kitty are very keen to see more tree planting in their area, so we’re going to be working with them to see whether we can support some engagement with their neighbours to help spread the word about the scheme. We think this would really give the street a lift, and help bring the neighbours together around a positive, community-focused activity.

There’s a school nearby, and Kitty is keen that their street has trees to offer shade for the local children as they make their way to school.

The more enjoyable the walk to school is, the more often the children will walk to school.

We think that Kitty and Andrew have a fantastic ambition to green up their street. It will make a real difference, and they’ll be the local pioneers.

Streets trees are the gift that keeps giving

Street trees are amazing, they:

• Improve our health and wellbeing – both physically and mentally

• Absorb air pollution

• Improve air quality by acting as natural filters

• Protect us from flooding

• Create shading and cooling

• Encourage calm and careful driving

• Reduce littering and fly-tipping

• Make the neighbourhoods where we live that bit nicer

We call these natural services, and they actually have a positive impact on the value of our houses, which is no great surprise when you think about it.

So if, like Andrew, Kitty and their family, you’d like a tree outside your house, you can take the first step to making it happen through our website – just click the yellow button below.