Tree Guardians wanted to help care for Cardiff’s thirsty trees

Thanks to an army of willing volunteers, 20,000 new trees have been planted in Cardiff since last autumn as part of a mass tree-planting programme aimed at supporting biodiversity and increasing tree canopy coverage in the city from 18.9% to 25%.

But new trees need a lot of water to survive and the recent hot weather has led Cardiff Council to ask more residents to come forward as ‘Tree Guardians’ to help care for the trees, and look after the thousands that line the city streets.

Coed Caerdydd Project Manager Chris Engel said: “You can generally spot when a tree is dehydrated by looking at its leaves – if they’re starting to wilt, their leaves are yellowing, or they’re losing leaves, then that’s a sure sign they need some water.

“Trees will always benefit from a drop of water every day – the larger ones we’ve planted need more – but really anything will help, especially early in the morning or in the evening once the temperature has dropped. That way less water is lost to evaporation.

“Even well-established trees suffer when rainfall is as low as it has been recently and we’d ask residents to think about the trees that may have been standing in the street outside their house for generations and any we have recently planted on the streets. Certainly for new trees this summer is shaping up to be pretty challenging.

“Many of our volunteers are already helping us out by keeping an eye on the trees that have been planted in their neighbourhood, but we want as many trees as possible to go on to thrive, so they can start doing all the amazing things that we know they do. The more tree guardians we have working with us, the more trees we’ll go into next autumn with, and the quicker we can all start reaping the benefits.”

The trees planted over the past six months include fruit trees such as apple, hazel, pear and plum and non-fruiting trees such as alder, beech, hornbeam and rowan. Together they cover an area of land the equivalent of 11.2 football pitches.

Cllr Jennifer Burke-Davies, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Events, said: “The community response to the Coed Caerdydd project has been incredible. It is thanks to volunteers across the city that there has been a step-change in the number of trees planted over the last season.

“We’re doing what we can, but watering 20,000 trees is a massive job, and any further help residents can provide over the coming weeks will be of real benefit to the trees, and to our efforts to make Cardiff a One Planet city.”

The Coed Caerdydd team will be holding a series of free, family-friendly events this summer to celebrate nature. Events will include a range of workshops on topics including:

  •  tree identification
  • bug hunts, and
  • litter picks.

Information will be available on volunteering with Coed Caerdydd and nature-enhancing resources for community groups, and there will also be the opportunity to have your say on potential sites for tree planting in the next season (October 2022-May 2023).

Events are being held at:

  •  STAR Hub, Friday, August 5 (3-5pm)
  • Whitchurch Hub, Saturday, August 6 (1-3pm)
  • Llanishen Hub, Friday, August 12 (10am-12pm)
  • Penylan Library, Friday, August 12 (1-3pm)
  • Castell Coch, Saturday, August 13 (9am-3pm)
  • Butetown Pavillion, Friday, August 19 (10am-2pm)
  • Maitland Park, Friday, August19 (11am-4pm)
  • Central Library, Tuesday, August 30 (2pm)
  • Fairwater Hub, Saturday, September 10 (10am-3pm)

 Please contact if you would like to attend or become a tree guardian.

How to beat the drought – and water the trees and plants!

After the driest July for almost a century and the prospect of dry conditions extending into August, saving water is a priority. But there are ways to make the water we use go further... and help nature in the process

  •  Grey waste means any waste household water that isn’t considered sewage (flushed toilet water). So, this means washing-up water, water from washing machines and dishwashers and water we shower, wash or bathe in. Normally, grey water can contain harmful chemicals but using ‘green’ products like Ecover and Bio-D will limit the negative effects of using them to water plants
  • If you have a grey water filtering system, great! If you don’t, once you have collected your grey water, perhaps via a collection point via an outside drainage point, leave it to stand for a day so microorganisms can start to degrade these active ingredients and contaminants can sink to the bottom
  • In hot weather, pathogens can develop in the grey water if allowed to stand too long so use it for ornamental plants or trees rather than vegetables, for example. Water used for washing vegetables will be fine but washing up water from a barbecue needs caution
  • Don’t water plants directly with grey water. Sink a plant pot into the soil near the plants and pour the grey water into it so micro-organisms break down in the soil and
  • Never run grey water through hoses or sprinkler systems

For more grey water hints and tips, visit