Tree authorities are championing for people to participate in an annual watering campaign, in a bid to combat rising temperatures and save young street trees.
The Arboricultural Association is partnering with the Woodland Trust and local authority tree officer associations to encourage the public to water their local street trees using recycled rainwater or grey water.
In data published by the Met Office, 2022 was the warmest on record and the UK’s total rainfall accumulation remained below average for the year, putting newly planted and younger trees at risk.
2022 also saw the UK receive over 9% more sunshine hours than average for the calendar year, with the Met Office warning both the sunshine hours and average temperature could continue to increase in response to the current climate situation.
Catherine Nuttgens, head of the Woodland Trust’s urban tree programme, says: “Trees are crucial to our wellbeing by cooling our towns and cities and improving air quality, so we need to not only plant more but look after those we already have.”
The Government is committed to planting millions of trees across the nation in the hope of meeting climate and nature targets, increasing UK tree coverage from 14.5% to 16.5%, while creating resilient landscapes and supporting biodiversity.
On average new trees in an urban environment should receive at least 50 litres of water per week in the summer months of May, June, July and August, ideally in the early mornings or evenings for up to the first three years after planting.
The tree groups behind the water campaign have highlighted the importance of using sustainably sourced water where possible, such as recycled rainwater or household grey water to reduce fresh mains water reliance and usage.
More information on how to get involved in the campaign can be found here.