In the past year, dozens of Croydon residents have come forward to sponsor, or water, a street tree as part of a new charity’s project. Here’s just two of their stories
James and his mum, Sue, love trees, and they want to see more of them on Croydon’s streets.
Late last year they took their first step to help green one of the town’s streets by applying to sponsor a new tree as part the national charity initiative that Croydon Council is taking part in – Trees for Streets.
James and Sue live very close to the southern end of the Purley Way. The estate they live on has a lot of cars parked up on pavements, a growing number of driveways and consequently a decreasing potential for street tree planting.
They wanted to do something to buck this trend.
The tree pit outside their house had been empty for so many years you’d hardly know it had been a tree pit. But when James read about the sponsorship scheme in Croydon, he leapt at the chance to get involved.
Trees for Streets is run by a large national tree charity, Trees for Cities. They provide an online mapping application that enables residents to select a location for a tree on a roadside or in a park. The resident then fills in a short survey about the desired location to help the council determine whether a tree can be planted at that spot. The resident submits the sponsorship request together with their donation payment details. Within a few weeks a decision is made, and if positive, a tree is put in during the forthcoming planting season. This starts in November and usually runs through to the end of March.
James and Sue’s tree was planted on the day of storm Eunice. A little concerned whether the new tree would survive the storm, James and Sue were relieved the next morning to see that it was still there.
The tree is a substantial 10-foot-tall seven-year-old, nursery-grown blossoming cherry, which is well dug into the ground and secured with two hefty wooden stakes.
Sue and James are clearly delighted with the new tree. Sue is now retired, so she spends a lot more time at home, and appreciates the visual appeal of the new tree. James, works as a web developer, and works from home more often than not. The both want to see the immediate neighbourhood become greener.
James tells us he is keen to sponsor more trees in the future, and already has his eye out for further locations in the street nearby.
Over in Purley Oaks, the tree outside Gavin’s house died a couple of years ago, so he saw this scheme as a good way of getting a new tree planted in the same spot.
Gavin has opted to water the new tree during the summer for the first three years of its life, which is the best thing to do to make sure a tree not only survives, but goes on to thrive for many years into the future.
No need to tell Gavin this however, as a few years back he used to take buckets of water to the trees that were planted in the next street after a hot day – thanks to his efforts, those trees are all flourishing now.
Sadly lots of the street trees in this area of Croydon are coming to the end of their life, so it’s important they are replaced so that future generations benefit from the shade, shelter and pollution-fighting properties they bring to their immediate area.
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