Tree Story of Anna, Our First Tree Hero

At the heart of this campaign are your interactions with your favourite trees. To highlight how important you find your urban trees we have asked our first tree hero, Anna from Leytonstone, to be a guest blogger and to tell us her tree story:

“My tree is a 20 ft oak (I’d say probably about 15–20 years old) that was planted earlier in the year (with some fanfare) by the council to fill a long vacant spot by the busy A12 flyover. It appeared to be doing well, but then the heatwave kicked in. We were out of the country for 10 days and on our return at the beginning of July I noticed that the upper leaves had all turned brown. For the next week I kept an eye on it, as I walk past it every day, and it seemed to be going downhill rapidly. As a newly planted tree it didn’t have the established root system it needed to survive without frequent rain.

So I decided that I wasn’t prepared to stand by and watch it die when I could at least try to help.

So every day, me and my two young sons fill up all the empty bottles we can find and cram them in the bottom of the buggy. We stop at the tree on the way to their nursery, the boys love watering the tree and now talk about it to their family and friends as ‘our tree’. Every day my 2 year old asks if we’re going to water ‘my plant’.

After a week of watering almost all of the brown leaves fell off, then today, 2 weeks in, we were very excited to see that the tree is covered in new buds.

#TreeInTrouble but showing signs of recovery
Anna’s oak showing signs of recovery after watering

I had a little teary moment this morning when I imagined the tree in the future years, happy and healthy, knowing that we did our bit to make sure people can enjoy it well beyond our own time. Whatever happens now, that will always be ‘our tree’.”

Anna and her two sons by their tree
Anna and her two boys by their tree, which is now thriving

We got in touch with Anna after she posted on a local Facebook group to encourage others to help water this tree. The group discussion for her post highlighted that a number of other residents are also watering this tree, including a man who was using a water butt on a trolley! We’d really like to meet each resident to give them a pat on the back and to ask them to tell us their tree story. Please get in touch if you know who they are! Also, if your own local tree is in trouble and you have been watering it, please get in touch and tell us your tree story!

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