The Witham Tree Group was formed in 2012 by a small group of likeminded residents with the aim of protecting and increasing the tree cover in our town for the benefit of local residents, both now and in the future, and the environment.
We are a very informal group. We meet about once a month to plan activities and we hold an AGM each spring.
New members are always welcome. Click on Contact Us to find out how to get in touch.
Why are we so passionate about trees?
A good question. After all doesn’t Witham have a large number of mature trees? We do but not necessarily in all parts of our town. And trees like the rest of us do not live forever. So if future generations are to enjoy a mature green landscape we need to plant replacements now. But there are many reasons why we need more trees. Trees play an important part in our lives and the benefits they bring have been highlighted by the Woodland Trust and include:
- Improving air quality by removing pollutants (it is estimated that 24,000 people in the UK die prematurely from air pollution);
- Lowering the rates of asthma among children;
- Reducing levels of noise and dust;
- Providing shade in summer, particularly important where children play;
- Increasing property values.
Trees therefore help in many ways to create a healthy environment and recent legislation in England has started to refocus attention on well-being in the community and the importance of environment to the health of the individual and the community.
What have we been up to since we were formed back in 2012?
Well, first of all an extensive survey of the town was carried out by members of the Group to identify potential locations for additional tree planting. This resulted in an astonishing number of over a thousand possibilities. Not all of these sites will turn out to be suitable, for example many green spaces will be found, on detailed investigation, to contain underground services making the location unsuitable for tree planting. But that initial survey gave the Group and its principal sponsor Witham Town Council enormous encouragement to continue with this project.
What type of trees do we plant?
The answer of course depends on the location. Where space permits larger native trees such as oaks, planes and poplars would be typical choices. But in more densely developed areas trees that are better suited to planting in an urban environment would be chosen. Fortunately there are several trees that have been specially developed in recent years to meet this requirement. So, the right tree for the right place would be the type of tree we plant.
Looking after our trees after planting. We live in a part of the country with a relatively low rainfall. It is essential therefore that newly planted trees are watered for two years after planting. Each tree is planted with an irrigation tube surrounding the root ball that enables water to be delivered where it is most beneficial to the development of the tree’s root structure in the early years. The Tree Group has a 500 litre bowser that enables us to ensure that our trees thrive in this critical period. Bowser runs take place most weeks throughout the summer months.