# Top topics

culture outdoors green spaces
Sustainability News

Free tree giveaway for Chelmsford residents

Treeplanting Stock Image - whips ready to be planted

Chelmsford City Council is giving away 1,000 trees to Chelmsford residents this winter. This is part of the ‘Space to thrive’ campaign to give the nature on our doorsteps a helping hand to flourish.

Households right across the Chelmsford district have been claiming one free tree each since Monday 2 October and all 1,000 trees have now found homes. Residents chose between a two-year-old Crab Apple, Whitebeam, Silver Birch or Bird Cherry tree.

The Chelmsford City Council parks team will be available when residents collect their trees to offer planting and care advice.

Increasing biodiversity in Chelmsford

The aim of the tree giveaway is to give residents the opportunity to increase the greenery in their gardens or outside spaces. It doesn’t matter how big or small an outside space is – gardens, patios and balconies are all excellent homes for the young trees. The parks team will be able to give guidance on where and how to plant the tree depending on its new home.

Trees help us maintain a healthy city. They provide clean air, store carbon and support whole ecosystems. Although the trees will be small when initially planted, they will become part of a bigger network of biodiversity across the district. Biodiversity is all the different kinds of life you’ll find in one area – the variety of animals, plants, fungi, and even microorganisms like bacteria that make up our natural world.

Planting more trees in the district will provide more homes for insects and wildlife as well as providing them with a source of food. Every part of the Chelmsford area has a role to play in creating corridors for the wildlife that lives here too. Giving one of the free trees a new home and following the care instructions to help it grow, will be a positive step in letting nature thrive.

Treeplanting Stock Image -whip in ground

Cllr Rose Moore, Cabinet Member for a Greener and Safer Chelmsford, is hopeful residents take up the opportunity to participate in the tree giveaway:

“The aim of our tree giveaway is to help make Chelmsford an even greener, fairer and more connected place. Whether you’re an experienced gardener or just getting started everyone’s welcome to apply for a free tree to take home. We can all play our part in giving nature space to thrive, and we’d like to this initiative to grow too, year-on-year.

From the moment they’re welcomed into their new homes, these trees will provide food, shelter and, ultimately, vital habitat for all sorts of wildlife. There are many small changes we can make in our own outdoor spaces to benefit wildlife, and planting a tree is one of the best ways to give nature a helping hand.”

Cllr Rose Moore, Cabinet Member for a Greener and Safer Chelmsford

How to collect your tree

Pre-ordered trees will be available to collect from:

  • Compass Gardens (South Woodham Ferrers), Thursday 7 December 2023, 10am-2pm
  • Melbourne Park, Friday 8 December 2023, 10am-2pm
  • Bell Meadow Plaza (Central Park), Saturday 9 December 2023, 9.30am-1pm

Residents will be required to show the confirmation email and their proof of address when they arrive at the collection point.

Staff from the city council’s parks team will be available on the collection days to offer advice about caring for the trees. The two-year-old trees will be approximately 40-60cm high when collected, but over time can grow between 10 to 17 metres depending on the species and its planting conditions.

Please note:

  • The parks team recommend residents bring their own bags or container when collecting the tree.
  • This scheme is only available to residents served by Chelmsford City Council.
  • Only one tree per household.
Treeplanting Stock Image - foot on spade

Long term benefits of planting trees

Chelmsford City Council declared a climate emergency in July 2019. Since then, it has aimed to put nature conservation and fighting climate change at the heart of the work the parks team does. 

‘Space to thrive’ is a new initiative to help combat the climate emergency, and is all about how the City Council is taking action and what work it is doing out on the ground.

There are plenty of long-term benefits of planting trees. As well as mitigating climate change by capturing and storing carbon, trees also provide shade and energy savings. Trees help in lowering the temperature and keeping a place cool. Trees boost biodiversity as they are a home and food source for many creatures.

If you’ve ever thought the air smells cleaner when walking through woodland, then it most likely is! Trees purify the air. Through a process called photosynthesis, trees take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen as a by-product. Planting more trees creates more oxygen!

To find out more, visit loveyourchelmsford.co.uk. Help Chelmsford City Council support biodiversity and give nature space to thrive.

facebook twitter mail linkedin
Charlotte Maltby
Charlotte Maltby

Charlotte writes about the environment, parks, recycling, business, planning, public realm and democratic services.