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!

Lifecycle of an Urban Tree

Urban lifecycle of a tree

We don’t just want you to log tree locations and species, we want you to sign up as a steward for your favourite local tree, to monitor its urban lifecycle and to help water it.

The fields you fill in to log your favourite tree are still being developed so please let us know if you have any suggestions! One of these will be to report the lifecycle stage of your tree. This urban lifecycle has been specifically designed to capture when each tree is vulnerable and to highlight when action needs to be taken by residents or the appropriate authorities. This urban lifecycle is represented above. Each stage is associated with an appropriate Twitter hashtag.

Tree damaged (#TreeInTrouble)

Our ultimate aim is for residents to log a tree through a web app (in development) and record the relevant lifecycle stage for that tree. Residents can then tweet us (@TreeLogga) to let us know if the lifecycle stage of that tree changes. They would also include a recent photo of the tree. We can then update the tree map and notify the appropriate authorities.

Tree recently removed (#Dudewheresmytree?)

You will be given the option to sign up as a steward when you first register a tree. If you select yes, you will receive notifications about your tree and you will be asked to take on some responsibility for the care of that tree and be able to update the information about your tree directly. We hope that tree stewarding will make it easier for residents to get more involved in their urban environment. Tree stewarding should also prevent one resident of a road having to care for all the trees on that road and allow you to work out who else is invested in your favourite tree!

Please let us know if you have any thoughts on our tree urban lifecycle.