Help Lambeth’s trees survive the heat

30 June 2023

Written by: Lambeth Council

News and announcements

Lambeth Council is rolling out extra watering for the borough’s precious trees to help them survive the extended hot and dry spell of weather – and residents can help save their lives.


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Help Lambeth’s trees survive the heat

During hot weather, shade from trees is vital to helping us cool down. But the trees that give us shade can’t get out of the sun. Some are literally dying for a drink. Lambeth Council planted 740 new standard trees on streets during this planting season. The Council is doing extra watering to help trees survive in an extended spell of hot, dry weather – and asking residents to help out. Please keep an eye on your local trees in summer and if the leaves are wilting or growing brown, give the roots a drink.

When, where, what and how we water

Even when rain soaks our streets, trees don’t get a drink – rain runs into drains. The kind thundery, short downpours we’ve seen lately isn’t enough to keep tree roots watered

Give back to the environment

It’s so easy to give back to the trees that protect our environment – just water, just twice a week. Take a bucket of water – or two big jugs – and slowly give your nearest tree’s roots a slow drink. Trees are naturally environmentally friendly and welcome recycled water.

Lambeth’s Tree Team, who care for hundreds of trees, advise:

  • All trees need 50 litres (almost 3 bucketfuls) a week – young trees can absorb as much water as you can give them.
  • Only water mature trees if they look like they’re suffering with the drought, e.g. leaves recently wilting or turning brown.
  • Water when it’s cooler – early morning or evening.
  • Some young trees have watering pipes, pour half the water down that and the other half onto the tree.
  • Some have a watering bag – just lift the flap and fill it up. Check the water is slowly percolating out over a few hours.
  • Water the ground around the base of trees slowly so that the water is absorbed rather than running off.
  • Where possible, use saved rainwater or ‘grey water’ from the shower, bath, paddling pools or even washing up. You can use grey water even during a hosepipe ban.

Share watering

If you share a tree with neighbours, can you take it in turns, and both water your tree once a week. Try your street’s Whatsapp? or Facebook group about setting up a rota to get trees in the street watered when there’s no rain.

More information