Planting for the future

In July 2019, we joined other local authorities across the country in declaring a climate emergency and in doing so, have pledged to work towards developing measures to offset global warming.

As part of this, we are undertaking a major programme of tree planting projects.

Over the five years, more than 10,000 trees will be planted across the district. We have already rolled out a free tree scheme for residents as well as community planting projects with schools, parish councils and local volunteer groups.

By increasing the number of trees in the district, not only are we making our communities more attractive, greener places to live and work, we are assisting the government in meeting its crucial target of planning 11 million trees between now and 2022.

How are your free trees doing?

In 2019 we  ran a free tree scheme for residents

We would love to see your tree planting photos. Tag us on social media @NSDCouncil.

Free trees for parish councils and schools

In the spring of 2020 we gave away over 1,500 trees to local parish councils, schools and volunteer groups from all corners of the district.

All groups were able to apply for up to 50 Oak, Silver Birch, Rowan, Hawthorn or Field Maple trees. The parish council or group needed to have permission to use a local site and confirm that they will be responsible for the ongoing maintenance of the trees.

Next steps

Over the next few years we will be planting more trees near our own council buildings, in our own parks and council-owned green spaces. 

Tree planting tips

  • Treat your tree gently, as rough handling or being dropped can shock the roots, and it will take the trees longer to get established
  • When you get your trees home, store them somewhere cool, outside. Do not let the roots dry out, so keep them covered. They should be planted within a couple of weeks of receiving them. If you need to store them for longer then give them a temporary home in a pot and remember to transplant them during the dormant season (Dec to March)
  • If you have a small garden or patio you can put each in a large pot permanently. The size of the pot will determine how big the tree gets, as once the roots have filled the pot the tree will stop growing. If you put your pot over soil, the roots will grow down through holes at the bottom of the pot into the ground so do be careful!
  • If planting directly into the ground, check distance from your own and your neighbour’s property and make sure your hole is big enough for all the roots to fit in comfortably.

Safe planting distances

When you plant, remember to take into account your neighbour's property too.

Safe planting distances depend on the depth of your foundations and the type of soil. Shallow foundations, such as for conservatories, and clay soil require the greatest minimum planting distance, so in these instances make sure the tree is as far from a building as it will eventually grow in height.

If your foundations are deeper than 1m, or if you intend to prune the tree to restrict its height, you can plant closer to buildings than the recommended minimum distances.

Recommended minimum planting distance from buildings:

Rowan: 8-10metres from buildings

Crab Apple: 5-7metres from buildings

Or as close as you want if you plant them in a large pot on a paved area!



The free tree scheme is being supported by Crowders Nurseries - a nationally renowned wholesale grower of trees, shrubs & plants.

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