Request Highway tree planting

Hampshire County Council is committed to tackling climate change and tree planting is a key part of the Council’s Climate Change Strategy. Trees bring profound social, economic, and environmental benefits to all. Highway tree planting is particularly beneficial. As such, we proactively survey areas with low canopy cover and/or which suffer higher pollution levels for future tree planting.

Who can apply

Members of the public may request that Hampshire County Council plant trees on the highway outside their homes where suitable verges exist.

When applying please ensure that you provide your address. Please note that we are currently unable to consider general planting requests such as those for entire roads or areas.

The approval process

A member of our arboriculture team will assess the proposed site to check if it is suitable for planting. We will be checking that;

  • the tree will not block sight lines at bends or junctions, or block the view of traffic lights or signs,
  • the tree will not conflict with any nearby street light columns, overhead cables or underground pipes, or cables,
  • there is space for the tree. Narrow verges are unlikely to be suitable for tree planting,
  • the ground is conducive to tree planting. We will not plant in an existing hard surface, such as tarmac, slabs or paving,
  • the verge is not regularly driven or parked on (we do not plant trees to disrupt driving or parking on verges as it is proven to be ineffective),
  • and that the location is part of the publicly maintained highway network

If the location is inappropriate for tree planting, we will contact you explaining why.

If there are no issues with the location, we will allocate an appropriate species for planting and update you with our decision.

You will be able to track the progress of enquiry online via your allocated enquiry number.

The trees we plant

We plant a broad range of species within the highway. Species choice is guided by suitability for the chosen site. If you would prefer a particular species of tree, we will try to fulfil this if appropriate.

The species and varieties we select are hardy and can not only tolerate the frequently harsh highways environment but can also thrive in these conditions. For this reason, only a few of the trees we plant are native as only a few native trees are appropriate or able to thrive in highway conditions. Indeed, only a comparatively small number of trees are native to the UK.

Below is a sample of the range of trees we may plant, species choice is not limited to this list:

Acer campestre - Field maple and cultivars thereof
Acer negundo - Box elder
Alnus cordata - Italian Alder
Amelanchier x grandiflora ‘Robin hill’ – Juneberry
Arbutus unedo – Strawberry tree
Betula albosinensis – Chinese birch
Betula jacquemontii – Himalayan birch
Betula papyrifera – Paper birch
Carpinus betulus – Hornbeam
Corylus colurna – Turkish hazel
Crataegus laevigata – Midland Hawthorn
Crataegus orientalis – Oriental Hawthorn
Crataegus prunifolia – Cockspur thorn
Fagus sylvatica – Beech
Ginkgo biloba – Ginkgo
Halesia Carolina – Snowbell tree
Hippophae salicfolia ‘Streetwise’Willow leaved sea buckthorn
Liquidambar styraciflua- Sweet gum tree
Liriodendron tulipifera – Tulip tree
Magnolia kobus – Kobushi Magnolia
Malus spp. – Various species/cultivars of ornamental flowering crab apples
Ostrya carpinifolia – European hop hornbeam
Parrotia persica ‘Vanessa’ – Persian Ironwood
Platanus orientalis – Oriental Plane
Platanus x hispanica – London Plane
Prunus spp. - Various species/cultivars of ornamental flowering cherries
Pyrus calleryana ‘Chanticleer’ – Callery Pear
Quercus robur – English oak
Sorbus aucuparia ‘Cardinal Royal’ – Rowan
Sorbus intermedia – Swedish Whitebeam
Tilia cordata ‘Greenspire’ – Small leaved Lime
Ulmus ‘New Horizon’ – American hybrid Elm (resistant to Dutch elm disease)
Zelcova serrata ‘Green Vase’ – Japanese Zelcova

The trees we plant are sourced from UK nurseries observing appropriate bio security measures.

Trees are generally 10-12cms girth ‘standard’ trees and around 3 to 4m in height and so are substantial in size. They are likely to be between 5 to 10 years in age at the time of planting.

They will be planted with a stake and guard for stability and protection and mulched beneath. Following planting there is a 3 to 5 year post planting maintenance routine to ensure successful establishment. Failed trees will be replaced.

Timescales

The site assessment may be several months following your initial enquiry. Please note resources are limited and we can not guarantee that all requests can be fulfilled due to high demand.

We will endeavour to fulfil your request in the next planting season, but we cannot guarantee that a tree will be planted in the immediate next planting season.

Tree planting generally takes place between November and March. The planting season may lengthen or shorten depending on weather conditions and stock availability. Tree planting is also limited by how many new trees we can physically plant and then maintain in any given year. Where requests for new tree planting are made after May, these are unlikely to be fulfilled until the next year's planting season.

Please be aware where requests are approved, occasionally trees cannot be planted when the planting team locate sub surface utilities on the verge that cannot be avoided. Planting teams carry equipment to check prior to digging planting pits.

Watering

New highway trees will receive post planting maintenance culminating in the removal of their stakes. In the first season following planting we will water the tree several times, but this will be a limited number of visits.

Charges

There are currently no charges for this service.

Apply

If you wish to request tree planting on a highway verge outside your home, please let us know using the form below.

So that we can process the application, please provide us with your contact details and include your address in the location description box on the form.