'Gators' Being Fitted to Saplings Across Wandsworth

Watering bags aim to increase chance of survival for 750 recently planted trees

A 'gator' fitted to one of the 750 trees being planted this winter
A 'gator' fitted to one of the 750 trees being planted this winter

High capacity watering bags called ‘gator’ bags are to be fitted to 750 trees being planted this winter in Wandsworth borough’s streets, parks and estates.

The aim is to ensure they thrive and survive by using this piece of equipment which helps them get have plenty of water take root and establish themselves.

Each gator holds 68 litres of water and can be easily and regularly refilled. The council says that using them promotes deep root growth and ensures that all the water is consumed by the tree with no wastage or run-off when compared to traditional watering methods.

The gators are designed to last for at least five years which means they can be reused on newly planted trees in future planting seasons and are fully recyclable when they need replacing.

Wandsworth borough currently has around 60,000 trees and each winter between 700 and 1,000 new ones are normally planted at an approximate annual cost of around £150,000.

Environment spokesman Cllr Steffi Sutters said, “Looking after our existing trees and planting new ones is a priority for the council, especially for the environmental benefits they provide and their importance in tackling climate change.

“The last two years have seen lengthy dry spells with very little rainfall for weeks on end so it’s important we make sure these young trees get all the water they need.

“These gators are the most efficient and effective way of ensuring this. Their use means no water wastage and helps keep their roots wet and well-nourished. They will prove invaluable if we get yet another dry spell later this year.”

The gators can store 68 litres of water
The gators can store 68 litres of water

Residents who want to help care for trees in their neighbourhood can join the Wandsworth Tree Warden Network – which is comprised of local residents who perform an important public service by keeping a close eye on the condition of their local street trees.

If a tree is showing signs of illness or disease they can give the council’s team of arboricultural experts early warning so that action can be taken quickly to help it recover.

And in warm weather spells they can be relied on to regularly give their street trees a good watering.

People can find out more about the Wandsworth Tree Wardens - and how to join their network of volunteers by visiting this link.



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January 20, 2021