Harrow Council has unveiled plans to charge locals as much as £295 to plant a new tree and keep it watered under a new sponsorship programme.
The Trees for Streets campaign seeks to encourage more tree planting across the country and has called on communities to add donations to the cause.
Under the initiative, it costs residents £195 to plant a new street tree, with responsibility for its watering passed on to the donor. For an extra £100, Harrow Council will water the tree for the donor.
Trees for Streets representatives explained council budgets are “extremely stretched” which has impacted on their ability to plant trees.
Simeon Linstead, project director of Trees for Streets, said the council will continue with its tree planting programme but this represents a chance for communities to support the push for more greenery in their areas.
“The aim is to get more trees planted in Harrow than we’d normally be able to do,” he said.
“A street with lots of lovely trees on it is nicer than one that is bare – it’s good for your health, it looks better and has an effect on the architecture of the area.
“And the simple act of having a tree planted and caring for it can be really powerful and open up a world of engagement.”
Those looking to get involved can pick the area they would like to see their tree, which will be granted in most cases provided it is practical and safe.
However, participants will not be able to attend the planting as it is carried out by an external contractor.
Under the initiative, Harrow Council will endeavour to replace the tree up to twice over the first five years if it dies or is vandalised, provided this is financially possible.
Mr Linstead said most of the tree planting costs in each case – between £250 and £450 – will be covered by the council, while it is hoped funding will be made available under the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund to provide more trees in “priority”, and often less affluent, areas of Harrow.
Cllr Graham Henson (Lab, Roxbourne), leader of Harrow Council, said: “Trees are so important and as they grow, they help stop climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the air, storing carbon in the trees and soil, and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere.
“This project gives the people of Harrow the means to improve their neighbourhoods both for those who live there now, and for generations to come and so it’s yet another reason we can be proud of this borough.”