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Cambridge celebrates National Tree Week

News release from 22/11/2018

RESIDENTS will be celebrating Cambridge’s trees and planting new ones to mark the start of this year’s National Tree Week at an event on Hills Road this Saturday 24 November.

Cambridge City Council will join forces with local residents during the event at St John the Evangelist Church from 11am, to plant the first four of a total of 44 new street trees planned for Hills Road.

Two types of tree will be planted – the Zelkova (Zelkova serrata ‘Green Vase’) and the Persian Ironwood (Parrotia persica ‘Vanessa’) – both of which are known for their vibrant autumn colours.

It is expected that the new trees will mature to form the backbone of a new generation of trees along Hills Road. They will be included in the council’s citywide arboricultural programme and inspected on a regular basis.

Following their initial post-planting aftercare, green irrigation bags will be tied round the base of the new trees to allow for routine watering. Residents are invited to help the council by watering new trees, and other trees in the city, especially during hot weather and periods of drought. More information on this is available on the council website at

At the event on Saturday people attending will have the opportunity to find out more about the Hills Road tree planting scheme, and about the council’s strategy for looking after the city’s trees.

In total there are more than 240,000 trees in Cambridge with a variety of landowners responsible for their upkeep, including the council, other local authorities, universities, private householders and businesses. Over recent years the council has planted thousands of trees in public spaces around the city.

The council carries out work on an ongoing basis to look after the trees in Cambridge through its Tree Strategy. This sets out ways in which the council:

  • Protects existing trees across the city including veteran and ‘heritage’ trees
  • Enhances tree cover through new tree planting and encourages others to do so
  • Manages the council’s own existing tree stock in parks, streets and open spaces

To encourage the planting of more trees, any Cambridge resident with a child aged under four is eligible for a free tree from the council under its Free Trees For Babies scheme. The council also welcomes applications from residents wishing to celebrate an adoption or commemorate a loved one. For more information visit

Species available in the scheme include Dessert Apple, Medlar, Mulberry, Walnut, Pear, Silver Birch and Snakebark Maple and are delivered between November and February for planting in gardens or elsewhere.

During National Tree Week, which this year runs from 24 November-2 December, The Tree Council is encouraging people across the UK to plant more trees, and help existing trees thrive.

Advice for other residents wishing to plant a tree during National Tree Week includes:

  • Choose a species according to the attributes they want, such as foliage, flowers, bark, fruit, scent, shade and wildlife; and consider how it will change in 20 or 30 years;
  • Select a tree that is suitable for an urban area and for a changing climate;
  • Make sure it is planted correctly – useful advice on planting is available from The Royal Horticultural Society’s website

Ways in which Cambridge residents can help to enhance the tree cover in the city include:

  • Asking the council to plant a tree in their road – if there is a suitable grass verge where a tree could be planted, residents can let the council know;
  • Encouraging their neighbours, school, workplace or community centre to plant a tree;
  • Helping the council water trees in the city – we water all new trees regularly, but if you notice a new tree on your street you can help with a hosepipe, watering can, or even your washing up bowl
  • Not over-pruning trees. Management of trees is mainly needed at the start and end of their lives, but if help is needed tree professionals are listed at

Cllr Katie Thornburrow, Executive Councillor for Streets and Open Spaces, said: “Cambridge has a wonderful tree population and we are committed to safeguarding and enhancing it for future generations to benefit from and enjoy.

“Planting new trees is an essential part of our strategy to maintain the health and diversity of the city’s tree stock and achieve our target of covering 19% of the city with tree canopy by 2030.

“If you have space in your garden please consider planting a tree as this will help to create and sustain Cambridge’s urban forest.

“Trees benefit our city by making it a more attractive and healthy place to live and travel through. They reduce the worst effects of sun, wind, and rain; screen out noise and air pollution while improving the appearance of an area and can play a significant part to increase biodiversity and reduce the impact of climate change.”

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