Watering new street trees

Article from Trees for Bermondsey spring newsletter

Southwark’s tree-planting contract includes checking that all new trees are adequately protected and cared for during the first three years after planting. This includes watering between March and October. If a tree fails during this 3 year period, the contractor must replace it.

For reasons that we have yet to ascertain, but assume are related to the Covid pandemic, tree-planting was postponed from starting in November 2020 to February 2021 and is ongoing as we write. This means that as we have had such a dry Spring and some trees will have been planted very late, they will need more water than usual. You can help. If you have new trees on your street they will have “Gator” bags which mean that water can drip through slowly to the roots instead of running off.

Just find the slit near the top on the side of the bag (not the large opening at the top) and use a watering can or hose-pipe to fill the bag.

Ideally trees should have about 50 litres a week, but it all helps, including bath or washing up water as long as it doesn’t contain bleach or disinfectant. Don’t be fooled if it rains, the young trees still need watering. It is very difficult to over-water in the summer months, but very easy for young trees to suffer from a lack of water so they don’t thrive in the long-term.