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Cambridge City Council

Plant a tree in your garden

We want to increase the city’s ‘urban forest’, which includes all the trees in the city. Cambridge currently has 17% tree canopy cover – we are working to increase this to 19%.

We manage, maintain and protect more than 32,000 trees in the city’s streets and open spaces, and are planting more. But about 75% of the area of the city is privately owned, including about 40,000 household gardens.

So we need you, the residents of Cambridge, to help us plant more trees.

Planting a tree in your garden will make a positive contribution to combating climate change. It will provide a habitat for pollinating insects and other wildlife, and the increased canopy cover will support greater biodiversity.

If you don’t have space yourself, you could give one as a gift to a friend or family member. If you’re a new parent we’ll give you a free tree as part of our free trees for babies scheme.

Tree challenge

When you plant a new tree, add it to our interactive tree map using the Curio-xyz smartphone app, to help us plot the city’s canopy cover.

If you sign up to our ‘Cambridge Tree Challenge’ mission on the app, you could win an annual membership to Cambridge Botanic Gardens for two adults. To be eligible, add the date you planted the tree, upload a photo, and include the hashtag #camtreechallenge in the notes box.

We’ll pick a winner at random in December at the end of National Tree Week.

Choose a tree

There are tree varieties that will suit most gardens in Cambridge, no matter how much space you have to work with.

Think about where you would like to plant your new tree, how much room you have and the size the tree will grow to. Try to find a space where your new tree can grow to its fullest without it needing regular pruning or where it could become a nuisance in the future.

The Royal Horticultural Society provides information on choosing trees for smaller gardens and trees near buildings.

Read about watering new trees, and check our planting guide [PDF, 0.1MB] for advice on how to plant and look after your tree.