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Council set to plant more than 5,000 trees in two years


The council is on track to plant more than 2,200 trees this year, taking the total number of trees delivered in the past two years to more than 5,000.

A total of 2,217 trees are scheduled to be planted across the borough by the end of the current planting season which runs from October to April. They include 690 large, instant impact trees and 1,517 smaller ‘whip’ trees.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “We are committed to delivering a cleaner and greener borough.

“While Tower Hamlets is an inner London borough it boasts magnificent green open spaces. We’re now also putting an emphasis on introducing more street trees and I’ve pledged that the council will plant 1,000 across the borough which will make a real difference to our residential neighbourhoods.”

A minimum of 700 street trees will be planted over the next two planting seasons, including 350 in Bethnal Green and Wapping in 2020/21 and a further 350 in Stepney Green and the Isle of Dogs in 2021/22.

The latest planting push is focused on Bow and Poplar where 350 trees will be planted along 100 different streets. Councillor Rachel Blake, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Planning, Air Quality and Tackling Poverty, took part in the planting during a visit to Shetland Road in Bow last week.

Cllr Blake said: “It was great to see our tree planting project in Bow taking shape and to see for myself the hard work our officers are doing to deliver on our ambitious planting pledges. Planting trees directly improves air quality.”

The estimated cost of the project currently stands at £1.32 million. Earlier this month the council successfully applied for £316,779 from the Mayor of London’s Urban Tree Challenge Fund which will pay for the purchase, planting and maintenance of 557 more trees.

The capital’s trees are estimated to provide at least £133m of benefits to Londoners every year. They help to improve air quality by removing 2,241 tonnes of pollution annually, including harmful PM10 particulates and NO2 roadside emissions.

Trees also create a vital habitat for London’s wildlife, while reducing the flood risk and helping to tackle climate change through absorbing and storing carbon.

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said: “Simple steps like planting trees help us address the climate and ecological crisis. These additional street trees and improvements to green spaces are targeted in areas where they’re most needed. As the world’s first national park city we will continue our bold action to preserve and increase tree coverage across London.”