Young trees of Epsom and Ewell need your help!


We all value living in a green, leafy borough with plenty of trees. The benefits of trees are numerous: they provide shade, filter pollutants from the air to reduce pollution, boost our mental health, sequester carbon, produce oxygen for us to breathe and are vital for biodiversity; providing a home, food, and shelter for numerous species. Studies have even shown that the presence of trees can increase house prices too. It is therefore critically important that we protect and care for the trees in our borough.

Stressed young trees at Court Recreation Ground

Older, well-established trees can manage without additional watering in hot dry weather as they are able to find their own water, however it is recommended that newly planted trees are given 50 litres of water per week during the summer months. It is vital that they are watered regularly during hot, dry weather for the first three years after planting in order for them to become established and thrive.

How one Tree Champion waters a tree on the journey to and from work, using a collection of bottles

Due to the dry weather we’re currently experiencing, many of the recently planted trees in our borough are incredibly stressed and without regular watering these trees will not survive. The Epsom and Ewell Tree Advisory Board (EETAB) is a local group of tree volunteers who, amongst other activities, work hard to protect and care for existing trees in our borough. During the summer, EETAB coordinate a team of Tree Champion volunteers to help with watering newly planted trees in the area. Ideally for street trees, the Tree Champions will be the owners of neighbouring properties who can easily water the trees regularly, however some of the trees are not on residential streets and require volunteers to travel with water containers by bike, wheelbarrow, car or whatever transportation method is available!

We desperately need your help now to help water the young trees in the borough, so please sign up to be a Tree Champion and help nurture a recently planted tree in your local area or a tree you pass regularly. 50 litres of water is a lot to get to each tree each week, so the more volunteers involved, the easier the task will be.

To find out more about becoming a Tree Champion please contact Epsom and Ewell Tree Advisory Board at

Find out if there is a new tree near you by checking our New Tree map above or at


The water you apply needs to really penetrate the soil and reach the roots. A good soaking once a week is better than a little bit every day which can encourage surface roots. And newly planted larger trees need more water, not less. During hot summer months, newly planted trees need watering once or ideally twice a week.

If the tree was planted over a year ago, watering is recommended during dry spells. The root zone will have widened out so you can water further away from the stem which will also encourage roots to spread out.

New trees need about 20 gallons of water a week to survive. The easiest way to do this is to pour a 5 gallon bucket of water over the drip zone, the part of ground the canopy covers, four times.

The rule of thumb for established trees is 10 gallons of water for each inch of the tree’s diameter. You can use a ruler at knee height to measure or just use your best guess.

The best time to water is in the morning or evening, so the roots have a chance to absorb most of the water.

The council waters according to a contracted out schedule. During hot summers which we are increasingly getting, the contracted schedule is not sufficient. We are appealing to local residents to help give these young trees the water they need to survive

It is up to you how much you would like to get involved. During summers we desperately need people to water newly planted and young trees. If there are any new trees near where you live, providing water for them once or twice a week would be ideal.