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New trees take root on Sheffield highways

street with trees

10 January 2018

More than 1,200 young trees will take root along Sheffield’s streets this winter as the annual tree planting season continues.

Sheffield is one of only a handful of local authorities in the UK who are benefitting from a fully-funded provision to replace street trees on a one for one basis.

This is the sixth successive season of tree planting by Amey as part of the Council’s Streets Ahead highways maintenance programme – and will bring the total number of replacement highway trees in Sheffield to almost 6,000 since the programme began in 2012.

At up to 2.5 metres high, the eight to ten-year-old container-grown trees are carefully tended through their first season to give them the best possible start in life.

Trees planted in the early years of the Streets Ahead programme are already doing well, with a good canopy spread and girth. The vigorous young trees being planted will replace trees which have been removed from highways because they were unhealthy, dangerous or damaging to the highway and neighbouring property, or because they are creating access issues.

This year, the new trees have been selected from a range of different species, all chosen for their suitability for the Sheffield highway environment, vigour and health.

Streets Ahead arborist, Dan Bright, said that the 4,500 trees planted in previous years were showing good signs of growth, with only very few needing to be replaced because they hadn’t established.

“We take great care when planting and tending for our new young trees, by preparing the ground well and building in a pipe to make sure the water we give them in their first season gets delivered straight to their young roots.

“The fact that only around two per cent of the new trees have failed to establish in the first five years, all of which have been replaced, is testament to that hard work. Highways are a tough environment for young trees to flourish and so we are incredibly pleased with the health of our new street tree stock here in Sheffield.” Said Dan.

Tree planting season takes place between October and March as it’s when trees are dormant and least likely to suffer stress.

Cabinet member for Environment and Street Scene at Sheffield City Council, Councillor Bryan Lodge said:

“Trees form an important part of our city’s streets and those trees which have been planted as part of the Streets Ahead programme will ensure a sustainable and varied tree stock for years to come.

“The street trees that have been replaced are now more suitable for their environment which means that our streets can remain green with a varied age profile of trees.

“Not only have replacement trees been planted over the last five years, but additional street trees can be seen across the city, securing Sheffield’s green credentials for hundreds of years.”

Streets Ahead is about ensuring we have roads, pavements and a street scene to be proud of. In addition, it presents the city with a unique opportunity to sustainably manage, increase and maintain its diverse street tree stock over a 25-year period. More than 65,000 trees have been planted across Sheffield in the last three years, including those planted as part of the Streets Ahead contract and those in parks and woodlands included in the Council’s community forestry programme.

To find out more about the Streets Ahead contract visit: