Trees have an important role to play in the sustainability of our towns. Species that are appropriate for their location, well-planted and maintained can deliver many benefits including shelter, improved air quality, support for wildlife, climate moderation and reduced risk of flooding. They also have the effect of softening and humanising what can otherwise become a hard, urban environment.
Choosing the right tree is vital, and a list has been compiled in conjunction with this guidance to suggest trees suitable for specific locations (refer to the Landscape and Greenspaces section of this guide). These species are typically better suited to the sometimes difficult conditions found within urban areas while also requiring minimum levels of maintenance. The list is not exhaustive and other appropriate species can be considered. Where services are close to street trees, a suitable root barrier (such as root deflectors) should be provided, so as to protect against damage to services, cables and pipes.
Root barriers are constructed before planting and can incorporate single trees or protect entire tree-lined streets. For established streets, creating root barriers around each tree is often the best solution, whereas for new roads and footways a long, straight barrier between the planted zone and services is preferred.
Tree-planting should be undertaken by appropriately qualified contractors who understand the technical requirements of pit size, irrigation and staking. The design of tree guards, grilles and porous gravel should be compatible with the chosen design theme of the space as a whole and submitted for planning permission as part of the public space proposals for any development.
Page updated: 30/07/2019