Tree Giveaway Scheme

Thank you to everyone who has taken part in Chelmsford City Council’s tree giveaway. This is part of our Space to thrive campaign, which aims to lend a helping hand to the nature on our doorsteps and bring us joy in the process. Every part of the Chelmsford area has a role to play in creating corridors for wildlife and although your new tree may still be small, as soon as it’s planted it will become part of a bigger network of biodiversity across the district. We’d love to hear more about your tree, so please keep in touch and let us know how things are going!

How it works

Residents that have taken part in the scheme will need to show your confirmation email and proof of address to your chosen collection point on arrival. We ask residents bring their own bags or container.

Your new trees are two years old and approximately 40-60cm high. Treat them gently, as rough handling or being dropped can shock the roots, and it will take the trees longer to get established. When you get your trees home, store them somewhere cool, outside. Do not let the roots dry out, so keep them covered. They should be planted within a couple of weeks of receiving them. If you need to store them for longer then give them a temporary home in a pot and remember to transplant them during the dormant season (December to March). Please seek permission from the landowner if you do not own your property. If you have a small garden or patio, you can put each in a large pot permanently. The size of the pot will determine how big the tree gets, as once the roots have filled the pot the tree will stop growing. If you put your pot over soil, the roots will grow down through holes at the bottom of the pot into the ground so do be careful!

For more information about how to care for or plant your tree please look at our general planting advice downloadable PDF.

Planting a tree

General planting advice:

  • If planting directly into the ground, check distance from your own and your neighbour’s property
  • Make sure your hole is big enough for all the roots to fit in comfortably
  • Once planted, press the soil down firmly around the stem, making sure the roots are fully covered but that all the stem is above the soil level
  • If the soil is dry, water the tree when you have planted it.

Tree planting and after care advice

Safe planting distances (or put the tree in a large pot!)

Remember your neighbour’s property too when you plant! Safe planting distances depend on the depth of your foundations and the type of soil. Shallow foundations e.g. for conservatories and clay soil require the greatest minimum planting distance, making sure the tree is as far from a building as it will eventually grow in height. If your foundations are deeper than 1m, or if you intend to prune the tree to restrict its height, you can plant closer to buildings than the NHBC’s recommended minimum distances.

OR as close as you want if you plant them in a large pot on a paved area!