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Trees for Colchester (Greenstead Pilot)

We're looking for volunteers to join our new Trees for Colchester pilot project in Greenstead, Colchester.

Volunteering is an essential part of this project, so whether you're a resident or community group in Greenstead, we'd love you to get involved. No experience is necessary and all training will be provided.

Volunteers will help to:

  • Identify locations for new trees
  • Agree on species
  • Help plant trees
  • Take part in general maintenance of the tree throughout the year

The project will also give you the opportunity to develop new skills and knowledge and will help you create stronger links in your local community.

We will provide training, advice, tools and equipment so that you are equipped to undertake the various tasks required to plant and care for the trees.

In addition, we will provide a storage facility with a supply of spare tree ties, tree guards, bark mulch and water, in a central location so that you can undertake aftercare on an independent basis.

In return, you will be asked to sign an agreement with us committing to spend a minimum amount of time each month on the project. Around 2 to 3 hours

Initially a pilot project will take place in the Greenstead area and then roll out into other areas of the Borough.


The scheme is divided into four steps:

1. Consultation                       

In order to make sure that trees are planted where they are wanted, we will work with you (the volunteer group) to speak to local residents to Identify appropriate locations for new trees. We will then draw up a short list of the most suitable species to plant in those locations.

2. Planting

We will supply the trees, support stakes, tree ties, guards & bark mulch.

The trees will be supplied as container grown, 3-3.5m tall 'selected standards'.

You will plant the trees; whilst we provide on-site training and assistance.

Once planted, we will enter the details of the trees into a tree database.

3. Aftercare

You will be responsible for looking after a number of new trees planted in walking distance of where you live or work.

You will give the trees a basic inspection on a monthly basis using a checklist. The purpose of the inspection will be to monitor the health and condition of the trees and to undertake any aftercare works as necessary. Completed checklists will be submitted to us and uploaded onto the tree database.

Aftercare might include:

  • Adjusting or replacing tree ties or guards
  • Removal of dead, damaged or broken branches
  • Weeding around tree bases
  • Topping up bark mulch
  • Removal of basal or stem suckers

In addition you will be asked to water trees on a regular basis during the spring and summer period. This will be essential for the establishment of all new and recently planted trees. We will provide the water and it will be stored in a central location. You will also be provided with a suitable container to us for watering.

4. Review

We will invite all volunteers in the scheme to an annual meet-up. The purpose this is to review how the project is going and to identify any areas where we can make improvements for the next year.

The annual review will be followed by a related training session delivered by tree specialists. The training will improve your knowledge and understanding of tree related issues.

All trees that were planted as part of Year 1 of the project and have survived will be signed off and placed into the Year 2 aftercare programme. After a tree has been signed off Year 3 it will be taken out of the project and its continued inspection and maintenance will become our responsibility.

 

If you want to get involved with this project or if you want to know more please email parks@colchester.gov.uk or call 01206 282266.