‘Please Water Me – Thank You’ – Sheffield residents asked to care for newly-planted street trees in dry summer months
Sheffield residents are being asked to water young urban trees by the private company managing the city’s stock under the 25-year ‘Streets Ahead’ contract.
Amey will be fixing ‘Please Water Me - Thank You’ labels to newly planted street trees next week to encourage people to help them establish in the dry summer months.
The company says the trees need watering because of the dry spring, but Sheffield anti-tree felling group STAG are concerned that voluntary watering shouldn’t replace a comprehensive programme.
And the demonstrators also revealed they declined a request to lend their support to the new scheme, despite the fact they were encouraging people to water juvenile trees themselves last year.
Melissa Wise, project director of operational services at Amey, said: “It’s really important that we do all we can to safeguard the trees we’ve planted across the city. The most critical element is to keep them well watered while they adjust to their new surroundings.
“As part of our programme, we water trees as much as we can, but if the weather gets warmer and drier, especially over the summer months, it would be great if local people helped out by giving them extra water, whenever possible.
“Many other local authorities across the country are following similar initiatives to ensure young street trees get the best start in life.
“We would suggest people use tap or rain water but avoid contaminated water that may include harmful chemicals. Ideally, try to give a tree at least 20 litres per watering – although anything you can manage is great.”
Rebecca Hammond of STAG said: "I'm pleased that they're encouraging people to look after their local trees. STAG have encouraged people to care for trees, including watering, and many people have been very active in doing so.
“But this must not replace proper aftercare from Amey. Last year many young trees died due to lack of sufficient water. We have seen Amey's watering schedules, and compared them with the recommendations from experts. Amey simply don't water often enough.
“The city has already lost thousands of healthy street trees. We cannot afford to lose more due to poor care of young trees."
Advice on watering young trees can be found at www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=237.