Tree Watering

You are here: Home / Tree Watering

How you can help with tree watering

Wandsworth Council outsources the annual planting of new trees across the borough. The tree planting contract includes the regular watering of new trees during the first 12 months after planting. During hot summers, however, the amount of watering provided by the contractor may not be sufficient to prevent the tree suffering acute distress and in some cases dying. When there are near drought conditions, young trees will struggle to survive and Tree Wardens are encouraged to assist with additional watering.

Wandsworth Council planted 500 new trees across the borough in autumn and winter 2019 and 2020. Spring this year was exceptionally hot and dry and many of our new street trees may need a helping hand. We are hoping that all Wandsworth residents, as well as our Tree Wardens, can help by keeping an eye on the trees in your street by giving them a weekly water – remember you can’t overwater a tree! Alternatively, you can report a distressed tree, whether it’s in a park, a street or on a common, to Enable, who manage the trees on behalf of Wandsworth Council, by emailing or calling 020 3959 0070.

Signs that a tree is in distress include the leaves browning and dropping prematurely, the ground around the base of the tree becoming dry and cracked or the tree struggling to come into leaf after a dry spring. Watering the tree with a few buckets of water every week will help ensure the young tree has a good start. Watering at night helps ensure minimum loss of water through evaporation (which can be as much as 30% during the heat of the day). Water can be poured down the watering pipe but it is also important to apply water on the surface and allow it to soak down to those roots that are close to the surface. If need be, hardened earth can be loosened with a fork or trowel to prevent excessive water run-off.

Please see below the signs which our Tree Wardens will be using to help identify trees in distress and the accompanying leaflet, which will be delivered to neighbouring homes. Thank you for helping us green the borough and keep our trees alive for future generations to enjoy.

Which trees need watering?

All young trees in the first four years after planting, need watering.  Please help us water those trees which are close to your home or work place if they look distressed or if there is no rainfall for 10 days in a row during the late spring and summer months.  You can’t overwater a tree!