Platform. The everyday portal for sharing knowledge and intelligence on sustainability across Greater Manchester.

Greening of Stevenson Sq, courtesy of Cityco Manchester

So what have trees ever done for us?

In the last 12 years Red Rose Forest’s Green Streets Team has planted well over 4,000 street trees across Greater Manchester and the demand for street tree planting continues to remain high because of the transformational impact that they have on places where we people live, work and visit.

We are often asked why it is that street tree planting costs so much to do, after all isn’t it just a case of sticking  a tree in the ground which you can buy from any garden centre for under £50! Planting street trees can be a long a difficult process and it needs to be done in a way to make sure that tree survives, flourishes and grows in sustainable way without causing damage to its surroundings.

We always strive to plant street trees in as big space as possible and to recreate their natural growing conditions but of course this comes at a price which can range from £500 to over £3500 dependent on the size of the growing area created. We hope therefore, that our tree planting guide gives you an idea of the work that is involved in making a street tree planting project successful.

So what have street trees ever done for us?

When you think about the many benefits that street trees can provide us with we think it justifies the level of investment in street tree planting projects.
Street trees:

  • Clean our air by trapping pollutants on their leaves, which is very important bearing in mind the prevalence of respiratory diseases such as asthma
  • Absorb carbon dioxide which makes up 85% of all greenhouse gases.
  • Provide cooling shade to buildings from the heating effects of sun in summer and so reduce the need for energy consuming air conditioning systems.
  • Create habitats and provide food for a wide variety of wildlife, even in noisy and polluted city centres
  • Are good for our health as they can help to reducing stress, make people feel happier and even lower blood pressure
  • Cool the air by as much as 7C from the shade they provide and so make our cities less vulnerable to the Urban heat Island Effect
  • Lower risk of flooding by reducing the amount of rainwater running onto our streets by up to 60%
  • Make our cities more attractive places which can help to attract inward investment and more tourists and visitors

The cost of planting a tree can be significant. However, by adopting thorough techniques it’s possible to save money in the long run by not having to pay for replacing the tree should it die or repairing the pavement from damage caused by tree roots.

And of course a mature, healthy looking tree will have a much more positive impact on the street than a stunted or dying tree!