Public asked to help water trees during hosepipe ban

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TO HELP save water, residents across the county are being asked to care for newly planted trees in their street during the hosepipe ban.

West Sussex Highways is calling on the public to recycle rainwater from water butts, grey bath water or water from washing up bowls and use it to water young trees on highway verges.

It says street trees are planted on verges in residential areas all over West Sussex to soften the landscape, provide shade in hot weather and protection in the cold.

They reflect seasonal change and improve local air quality.

Between 40 and 50 different types of trees are planted each year by West Sussex Highways teams. They range from Japanese cherry blossom and crab apple trees through to oak, ash and beech trees and are planted according to residents’ requests.

Regular watering is vital during the first two or three years of a tree’s life, particularly during the spring, summer and autumn months.

However with the introduction of a hosepipe ban throughout much of the county, and the difficulties West Sussex Highways face in maintaining trees in such a wide area, help from the public is being sought.

County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, Pieter Montyn, said: “Young trees are very vulnerable because their roots sit about a foot from the surface.

“If you could help with the establishment of the new tree, by watering regularly with recycled water, it would be greatly appreciated.

“Watering trees in this way will ensure that the tree has the best chance for survival.”

Buckets and watering cans filled with water from taps are permitted for watering, but running water through hosepipes is not.

Recycled water from dishwashers should be avoided due to the high salt content that will be damaging to plants.