HEATWAVE: Sheffield tree campaigners appeal for residents to water street trees

Calls have been made to ensure young trees are regularly watered during the current heatwaveCalls have been made to ensure young trees are regularly watered during the current heatwave
Calls have been made to ensure young trees are regularly watered during the current heatwave
Residents have been urged to water the young trees planted across the city as part of Sheffield Council's controversial tree felling scheme during the heatwave.

Sheffield Tree Action Group said council contractor Amey does not have enough staff or vehicles to give all the street saplings the extra water they need in the hot, dry weather and has appealed to the public for help.

Temperatures in Sheffield are set to peak at 26C this week, according to the Met Office’s latest forecast.

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Sheffield Council have planted trees in areas to replace those felled as part of the Streets Ahead programme.

Tree activist group, Save Gleadless Valley Trees, said young trees need 20 litres of water a day during a heatwave, the equivalent of two big watering cans.

Chris Rust, co-chair of STAG, said: “It’s tempting to say that the authorities should look after this but in reality our city council does not have the money to do everything we would like them to do and simple community tasks, like watering saplings in the summer, sweeping up leaves in the autumn, and clearing snow in the winter bring people together and give us all a sense of ownership.”

People who water the young trees are advised by experts to ensure the water soaks into the ground and does not run off.

Heather Mitchell, of Save Gleadless Valley Trees, added: “

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Streets Ahead would normally expect to water the trees a couple of times a year but this is exceptional weather for Sheffield and the best way to ensure that the new trees thrive and grow to provide shade and beauty is for all of us to help.

This is a great opportunity for local communities to get together and look after their own environment.”

A Streets Ahead spokesman said: "“As part of the Streets Ahead programme, Amey are responsible for ensuring newly planted street trees are properly maintained to give them the best possible chance of survival.

"During this extended period of warm weather, we are doing all we can to ensure the young trees on our streets receive as much water as possible.

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"This includes watering them at the optimum time during the early morning which maximises the benefit for the trees.

“With high temperatures expected to remain for the remainder of the week, we would encourage members of the community to help in any way they can by watering the new trees when possible. The best way to do this is via the feed pipe at the base of the tree.

“Streets Ahead have a good success rate for newly planted street trees and we would ask that people get in touch directly on 01142734567 if they see a dying young tree.

"All damaged or dying trees will then be replaced during the next planting season which commences in October.”