Urban tree planting programme – new street trees

We’ve planted 5,000 new street trees in the last four years, one of the largest urban tree planting programmes in the country.

As a result of the programme, which is part of our commitment to environmental sustainability and creating a greener community, on-street tree canopy coverage is set to increase from 20 to 30%, helping to sequester carbon, filter air, mitigate local flooding by improving drainage, and cool streets during the hot weather that is becoming more prevalent as a result of climate change.

There are many benefits for planting urban trees; a mature tree can provide enough oxygen in a year for the needs of 10 people, they help to improve air quality by trapping pollutants and toxic particles, trees absorb harmful gases such as carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide, they reduce flooding risks, and they create beauty and interest. Research has shown that people recover from illness quicker if they can see trees and have the opportunity to connect with nature in green spaces.

Trees also have more practical uses, providing shelter and shade, slowing down wind speed and reducing air turbulence around buildings, softening the harshness of the urban landscape and improving the appearance of the borough, attracting both commercial and community investment.

Map of council maintained trees

The Hackney tree map shows more than 45,000 council maintained trees.

It was created to help residents find out more information about trees on their street – listing species, common name and age.

It’s the result of some joint work between the our arboricultural officers and the Data and Insight team.

Maintenance and watering street trees

We’ve put a tree management plan in place to guide tree care in the borough. This plan includes planting new trees and maintaining them, like regular watering and formative pruning. It helps us grow our tree canopy and make the environment healthier.

Newly planted trees get 18 months of care and watering. After that, they enter a young tree maintenance programme, which may include pruning and adjustments to stakes. Later, they’re part of our 3-yearly ward inspections and managed according to the borough’s practices.

We water our trees regularly. We water trees weekly in warm weather.

You can help us out by giving new trees 2 to 3 litres a day when the weather’s hot. Just pour water into the tube or bag by the stem of the tree – or around the base. This can be fresh water or used dish or bath water.

Reporting issues with street trees

If you notice an issue with a tree, email

Protected trees and preservation orders

Trees are protected if they are in a conservation area, or if they are the subject of a tree preservation order (TPO).

This prevents cutting down, uprooting, topping, lopping, wilful damage or destruction of trees and roots without our permission.

Tree preservation order regulations have changed; previous legislation has been brought together with a new act that took effect from 6 April 2012.

See protected trees: a guide to tree preservation procedures (PDF 89kb)

Find out if a tree is protected

To find out if a tree is in a conservation area or subject to a preservation order, view the map below, or call 020 8356 8062.

Application form for tree works

See the application form for tree works for trees subject to a tree preservation order (TPO) and/or in a conservation area (PDF 364kb)

Ash dieback

Ash dieback (Chalara fraxinea) is a serious disease that has killed ash trees across northern Europe. Cases are now being discovered in the UK. See images of symptoms. If you are and think you have spotted the signs and symptoms report them through TreeAlert.

Page updated on: 14 June 2024