Council owned trees

Tree planting and watering


Our trees are always planted in the winter months when they are dormant, as this increases survival rates. Where a tree is removed, it may not be possible to immediately replace a tree in that exact location, or it may take some time to plant another tree, but suitable vacant pits on streets are added to a planting list for future planting schemes.

It is really important that you do not plant trees on the public highway yourself - it can be incredibly dangerous due to hidden cables and pipes under the surface. If you are interested in getting involved in tree planting and care, you might want to get involved in our tree wardens scheme.


Tree watering is essential to the bedding in of newly planted trees. All newly planted trees come with a maintenance programme of 10 watering visits a year for the first 2 years after planting. Fifty litres of water are delivered each visit via a watering tube that dispenses the water to the root ball of the tree, where it needs it most.

Over the last two winters the council has planted in the region of 1400 new trees which are all watered under the maintenance programme. The number of newly planted trees currently under watering maintenance is higher than the preceding five years worth of planting combined, so a vastly higher number of trees are currently being looked after under the programme.

The summer of 2020 saw extremely dry conditions so we brought in an extra watering crew to increase the frequency of visits to help give our new trees the best chance of survival. We would also like to thank our residents who kindly helped water newly planted trees in their local neighbourhoods.

When trees are stressed during dry periods they consume just enough water to survive. This means that some new trees display wilted leaves, or leaves shedding at the top of the tree. Whilst this does not look good, it does not automatically mean that the tree has died or failed to establish. It is difficult to tell whether a tree has successfully been established or whether it will need replacing until 2 years after planting.

Top tips for watering

Have you spotted a 'water me' tag on a newly planted tree near you? We would love for you to support our watering programme and use recycled water to give them a drink to help them through the hot summer months.

Our new tree tags are durable and long lasting, and are 100% recyclable. Made from Polypropylene (a category 5 recyclable thermoplastic), they have been manufactured in a cleaner non-toxic production process making them more environmentally friendly than other popular plastics such as PVC.

During dry weather new trees benefit from more regular watering, so please do feel free to water new trees on your street. Any watering is helpful, but please see below for our top tips:

  • One big drink a week is best, but more often is fine during very hot weather
  • Ideally, try to give at least 1-2 watering cans per watering – although anything you can manage is great
  • Tap water, rain water or even dishwater is fine. Please make sure no chemicals stronger than washing-up liquid are in the mix
  • If there's a black watering tube at the base of the tree, please use that, although if it's easier, just slowly pour the water over the roots, letting the water soak deep into the soil
  • Ask your neighbours to get involved, especially if you’re planning on going on holiday over the summer
  • Try not to water when the ground is wet and soggy. Rainfall isn't always enough to satisfy newly planted trees, but too much water can be as bad as not enough
  • If you use a hosepipe, do so safely – don't leave it unattended or trail it across the road
  • The best time to water is either in the early morning or in the evening. Try to avoid the hottest part of the day, although water anytime is better than no water at all

Thank you Kingston!

Last Modified: 05/08/2021 12:39:31