The White Rose Forest call for Leeds residents to join popular community street tree planting scheme

24 October 2023

With support from The White Rose Forest, Leeds City Council has launched a community-led tree planting pilot that aims to involve residents in planting efforts.

The scheme is run in partnership with charity Trees for Streets and is part of the City Council’s target to double the number of trees in Leeds by 2050.

Residents can become ‘sponsors’ by nominating verges in which to plant trees on their street and committing to look after them by watering over summer months. Sponsors are asked to contribute £150 to planting costs and neighbours can even club together to fund new trees.

The White Rose Forest is supporting Leeds City Council with the initiative by contributing grant funding, alongside resident’s sponsorship money, to enable the Council’s environment team to undertake the work.

Since launching the scheme at the end of August, the Council have already had over 50 enquiries from residents, with more people signing up daily.

Why are urban trees so important?

Alarmingly, tree cover in England is amongst the lowest in Europe. This impacts resilience to the climate crisis, rising temperatures and increasingly severe weather – particularly in towns and cities.

Street trees act as natural air conditioners, providing shade on hot days and cooling the air through a process called evapotranspiration. They also help us cope with heavy rain and protect from flooding. Their roots absorb huge amounts of water, and their leaves and branches collect rainwater as it falls.

Street trees offer huge benefits for our health and wellbeing too. They make us feel better, encourage exercise, and bring communities together. Plus, they make our neighbourhoods more beautiful and welcoming.

“Trees breathe life into our streets. They transform them. By working in partnership with Leeds City Council, our aim is to empower locals to make their neighbourhoods greener and healthier.” – Simeon Linstead, Project Director, Trees for Streets.

As well as contributing to the Council’s urban greening ambitions, residents that participate will also contribute to wider efforts of the White Rose Forest, and our aim to create 1000 hectares of new tree canopy in urban spaces across North and West Yorkshire by 2025. That’s the equivalent of 1,400 football pitches!

Sponsor a tree in three simple steps

  1. Visit to choose a location for a new tree, answer a few simple questions about it, and submit your sponsorship details. The rest is taken care of for you.
  2. The council will survey the location to check for suitability.
  3. If acceptable, a 3-4 metre ‘instant-impact’ tree will be planted, between November and April.

(Please note, during the pilot period, the city council is offering new street tree planting into grass verge locations outside residents’ homes. It hopes to offer planting into hard surface locations in due course.)

To sponsor a tree in Leeds, visit

Got a question? – send an email to