Become a tree champion

What is a tree champion?

A tree champion helps to get new trees planted and to protect existing trees on publicly managed land in Bristol.

Become a BTF tree champion

There is nothing to stop you joining Bristol’s growing band of BTF tree champions. It’s easy. If you would like to help get trees planted near where you live (or elsewhere), but need funding, then you have to become a tree champion. This is not onerous but it means you have to be given status within your local Neighbourhood Partnership who have control of all the funding streams for trees.

Please use our Contact us page,saying roughly what you would like to achieve and, most crucially your voting ward (Councillor elections). We will send you back contact details and let you know whether you live in one of the nine of fourteen Neighbourhood Partnerships (NP) who have included tree planting within their local priorities. We will also need your permission to share your email address with the Council so the NP can approach you.

Tree Champions only need to be involved with finding planting sites, over time you are welcome to get involved with planning and fund raising, but only if you want to.

 Your Neighbourhood Partnership controls the access to funding

When it comes to planting trees, there are a number of funding streams now available, ranging from developer contributions because they felled trees to a new build on a site, or Community Infrastructure Levy (also from developments), Well-being money designated from the Neighbourhood Partnership (NP) and from donors like Bristol University. We hope to add another funding stream – a not-for-profit organisation coordinating major donations for Bristol’s trees.

Because of this, Neighbourhood Partnerships are being asked to develop tree planting plans on an ongoing basis. You will need to feed in your suggestions to your NP, probably to their environmental or tree group so it can be added to their plan (We have examples for CliftonAndCabot2015 and for Knowle2016). The plan is then considered and checked by the council for services, safety and subsidence before being made available to the NP for a planting decision.

Cabot and Clifton’s 2015 tree plans to use £150,000 available from developers.

Where do you want to get the trees planted – in streets or open public spaces?

Street trees

The planting of street trees is tightly controlled for safety reasons, but if you want to add to what is environmentally the most important tree stock then the things to consider are width of pavement, grass verge or whether there is a stump already. In new cases the pavement needs to be 2.2m or wider or else a small build-out will be necessary. For example, the cost of the pit and build-out needs to be added to the cost of the tree itself. If an NP is planning a build-out for highways safety reasons, this can be an opportunity to plant a new tree at a fairly low cost

If you wish to replace a tree stump, then this site will be considered even if the pavement is less than 2.2 metres wide and as long as services and subsidence risks are deemed satisfactory. A stump can be replaced by a new tree for £295.

Open public spaces

Trees can be planted free of charge if you wish it to be part of the primary school project called One Tree Per Child which combines school children, education and planting saplings.

If you want a more substantial tree, then it too needs to go onto the tree planting plan and be checked for safety and suitability.

Species choice is controlled tightly by the Council as they carry the cost of maintaining the tree for decades and need to protect the biodiversity of the city. For more information on this see our recent blog – Choosing trees for public spaces – how Bristol City Coucil dose it.

Can I sponsor a new tree?

You or your community can sponsor a tree that hasn’t been planted yet. This might be for a celebration such as a wedding or a birthday, or for a living memorial – or just because you love trees. The costs of sponsorship is quite small – especially if your community can help:

  • £295 for the Council to provide the tree, plant it and water it for two years to make sure it establishes.
  • £175 for the Council to provide the tree and plant it. You are responsible for watering it until it becomes established.

Finding a tree you can sponsor

  1. Visit the Council’s PinPoint tree sponsorship map to locate a new tree site you can sponsor.
  2. View and select any tree icon on the map to find out more and make your decision.

pinpoint-sponsor-a-tree

  1. Once you have decided, click on View (Adobe PDF format) to open the Sponsorship form.
  2. The form will use a unique tree reference based on the site you have selected – in the example above its: Site: Rockside Drive; tree: Null; plot: 100008.5.
  3. Save the form by selecting File/Save as and select where to save it. You can then email the form to treebristol@bristol.gov.uk.
  4. If you prefer, you can print the form off direct, complete it and post it to TreeBristol at PO Box 3176, Bristol, BS3 9FS. This is the Sponsorship form.

When the form is received, the Council will check that the site is still available. If the tree is not available, you will be asked to choose another site. The Council will then advise you how to pay, confirm your sponsorship and, once the tree is planted, send you a certificate and a site map of your tree so you can visit it.

Remember, to give your tree its best chance of survival, it will only be planted during the planting season which is between the beginning of December and the end of the following March.

Can I adopt a tree or a woodland?

It is easy to adopt a tree or a woodland that has already been planted for a small cost:

  • £35 to adopt a tree
  • £10 to adopt a woodland share

You can also adopt a tree by placing a plaque on the tree with up to seven words on. This costs £25.

Finding a tree or woodland you can adopt

  1. Visit at the Council’s PinPoint tree adoption map to locate a tree  or wood you can adopt.
  2. View and select any tree icon on the map to find out more and make your decision.

pinpoint-adopt-a-tree

  1. Once you have decided, click on View (Adobe PDF format) to open the Adoption form.
  2. The form will use a unique tree woodland share reference based on the site you have selected – in the example above its: Site: Redcatch Park; tree: Silver birch; plot: 100237.
  3. Save the form by selecting File/Save as and select where you to save it. You can then email it to treebristol@bristol.gov.uk.
  4. If you prefer, you can print the form off direct, complete it and post it to TreeBristol at PO Box 3176, Bristol, BS3 9FS. This is the Adoption form.

When the form is received, the Council will check that the site is still available. If the tree is not available, you will be asked to choose another site. The Council will then advise you how to pay and post you a certificate and site map of your tree, or a certificate of your woodland share.

If you would like to learn more, visit TreeBristol on the Council’s website. These are their terms and conditions.

How can I Volunteer?

If you would like to volunteer to help with this important role, please contact us using our online contact form.

Bristol City Council Resources

Tree Bristol FAQs     Tree planting design guide notes

Tree planting request process

Guidelines describing the selection of sites and approvals

Decision flowchart – who decides what and when

Tree planting pavement guidelines     Tree Pit Specification

How species choice should be done

Tree planting data by species, genus & family