During the hosepipe ban we need Londoners to show how much they love their trees by watering them, in order they are not damaged or killed off by continuing periods of dry weather. The current hosepipe ban is in place to help conserve and protect our water supply, but there are many everyday opportunities to re-cycle the water we use at home.
Although the use of hoses is restricted, watering cans, buckets, and saucepans can all be used to get water to your trees. A thirsty tree will happily swallow your old bath and cold tea or any water you have saved up in a rainwater tank. You can use washing up liquid too, but only if you have used Eco friendly washing up detergent as there are a lot of petrol chemicals in “Normal” washing up liquids, which do not break down and could cause a build up especially in a concentrated area such as a tree pit. A minimum of 5 litres of water a week per tree is a healthy amount to see it through dry periods.
Trees that have been planted in the last three to five years are particularly vulnerable as their root systems have had less time to establish and reach out for moisture in the soil. Some trees will have been planted with irrigation pipes which carry water straight down to the roots. Why not talk to your neighbours and adopt a tree each in your local park or street? Trees in public spaces need looking after as much as those in private gardens.
Trees play an essential part in the health of our cities. They create shade reducing surface temperatures. This reduces water loss through evaporation. They actually cool the air by releasing water vapour through their leaves. This affects weather patterns and encourages rainfall. Caring for our trees is a long term way to address and mitigate climate change and the urban heat island affect in our cities.
Why not talk to your neighbours and adopt a tree each in your local park or street? All it needs is your imagination to show your love for London by looking after our precious trees.
Trees for Cities relies heavily on its well established network of volunteers and their valuable support. For the last nine months Trees for Cities, the London Tree Officers Association and the Tree Council have been getting volunteers involved in our Londoners Love Trees programme.
For further information on how to volunteer, visit our Londoners Love Trees page.
For any media enquiries, contact Lucy Swan.