Saplings are particularly vulnerable in this hot dry spell
Some of the borough's young street trees pictured in bloom earlier this year - image WBC
An appeal is being made by Wandsworth Council’s leisure and culture contractor for residents to water newly planted trees in the borough. As the extremely hot weather continues saplings are particular vulnerable to a lack of water.
To help keep their streets green and leafy, residents are being asked to check on young trees in their neighbourhoods and water them if they’re looking parched.
Last winter the council planted more than 500 new street trees across the borough - and another 500 the year before - and there are concerns that some of these young trees could start to wilt if these warm and dry conditions continue.
Most have a plastic tube dug into the ground alongside the trunk which allows water to be poured deep into the soil to help nourish the roots.
The council’s environment spokesman Cllr Steffi Sutters said: “If there is a newly planted street tree near where you live that looks a bit dry and parched please give it some water. Over the past two winters we have planted more than a thousand new trees to help us reach our goal of creating one of London’s leafiest boroughs. Residents can help ensure that happens by keeping an eye on their nearest street tree and giving it a helping hand if it’s needed.
“It’s a magnificent sight see them come into blossom every spring so it is definitely a worthwhile thing to do on behalf of your community.
Every district in Wandsworth saw street trees planted last winter with species including London Plane, Cherry, Lime, Pear, Crab Apple, Rowan, Oak, Hazel, Whitebeam, Maple, Hornbeam and Birch.
In total the council looks after roughly 60,000 trees in its parks, commons and open spaces while around 15,000 grow in residential streets and on the borough’s housing estates.
What does the painted strip at the top of tree stake signify?
The coloured strip at the top of the tree stake identifies the year in which the tree was planted. Recent annual plantings are coloured coded as follows:
image: Wandsworth Tree Wardens
The borough also boasts a number of local tree wardens. Wandsworth was one of the first urban councils in the country to establish a network of wardens – members of the public who work with the council to keep a close watch on the health and well-being of trees in their neighbourhood.
Mary-Claire Mason waters a young tree
Tree warden, Mary-Claire Mason told this website: "Trees need our help in this heat, especially youngsters those with red topped stakes which were planted in the latest planting schedule. I aim to give than a goodly amount, say 2 watering cans. I pour water down the pipe and put it round the base of the tree too. I also try to water older trees if their leaves are wilting and droopy – most likely due to lack of water."
People interested in becoming a tree warden can email Wandtreeward@aol.com
July 24, 2019