15 July 2022
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With the cost of living rising, we know that many people are concerned about increasing utility bills. With street trees needing at least 50 litres a week to survive, providing this amount of water from your tap might feel like a big ask at the moment.

It is however still vital to make sure new street trees get watered, to make sure they thrive and give us all the shade, cleaner air and other benefits they’ll provide as they grow.

Luckily we have a couple of ideas to overcome this dilemma…

Free from the sky

The good news is that you can water trees and plants for free!

In Britain, we get quite a lot of rain, sometimes all year round! Even in areas of low annual rainfall it’s surprising just how much water can be collected – and you don’t necessarily need a lot of space to do it. With rainwater, you also don’t need to worry about hosepipe bans or other restrictions on your water use. 

Houses, flats, greenhouses, sheds – every roof surface can be a potential source of water. A rainwater butt can be fitted to the downpipe that comes off any type of roof to collect water.

If you have space, you can link several water butts together so that when one fills up, the water overflows into the next one, and so on. Some butts are designed to fit into small or narrow spaces so you can collect water without taking up much space – important for city residents who often don’t have much outside space.

Rainwater is actually much better for trees and plants than the treated drinking water that comes from your tap, because it doesn’t contain added chemicals or salts. It also has a lower pH, which is preferred by most plants and trees.

Using water twice

Even if you don’t have room for a rainwater butt, you can reuse some of the water from your home to water your sponsored tree. Water that has already been used for another purpose such as washing up or bathing is known as grey water.

Washing-up water and used bath water are both suitable for trees – they aren’t fussy about a splash of detergent or bubble bath when they need a drink!

Got any tree watering tips of your own? Let us know at hello@treesforstreets.org, or get in touch on our social media channels.