Urban Forest

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"Treeconomics" in London / Circa 2016

Shade Trees Help Save Energy

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Urban Forest: Model London


Trees and woodlands

'London is one of the greenest cities in the world...'

  • Why we want more trees
  • The value of London's urban forest
  • What we are doing for London’s trees and woodlands
  • What can you do?
  • Any questions?

It is estimated that there are about 8 million trees in London, and about 20 per cent of London is covered in trees.

The Mayor has a target to increase tree cover by a further 5 per cent, to 25 per cent, by 2025.

Why we want more trees

Increasing the number of trees is at the heart of the Mayor's vision to help make London greener, cleaner, more welcoming and more resilient.

The value of London's urban forest

London's urban forest is increasingly recognised as having an economic value thanks to its environmental benefits. An i-Tree Eco survey of London’s trees and woodlands has helped to establish the benefits they provide and to put a value on the capital's trees. In the autumn of 2014 over 300 volunteers helped survey more than 700 locations across London using the US Forest Service’s i-Tree methodology. The final report was published in December 2015.

The headline results can be seen on the For the Love of Trees – London page.

Smaller areas of London have also looked at the benefits of their trees. We worked with Victoria Business Improvement District on a report which assesses the benefits of trees and other green infrastructure. This uses the i-Tree and CAVAT models to assess the value of Victoria’s trees.

What we are doing for London’s trees and woodlands

Community Grant Scheme

The London Tree and Woodland Community Grant Scheme provides grants of £2,000-£10,000 to projects which promote or protect trees and woodlands and engage local communities.

For the Love of Trees - London

‘For the Love of Trees – London’ is a programme to highlight the value of London’s urban forest and actively engage in the planting of 40,000 trees across London to enhance neighbourhoods and schools in 2015-6. It is supported by Unilever and working with a number of partner organisations.

Policy development

The London Plan provides a policy framework which encourages the protection and maintenance of trees and the planting of new trees and woodlands. We have also published Supplementary Planning Guidance on Preparing Borough Tree and Woodland Strategies.

We also promote trees as an essential part of new developments and regeneration schemes.

We have worked with the Tree and Design Action Group to provide developers and architects with the evidence of the benefits of large canopy trees in the urban environment and also how to incorporate trees into urban landscapes. See The Canopy and the Trees in Hard Landscapes guide.


The Mayor leads the RE:LEAF Partnership which works to protect the capital's trees and encourage individual Londoners, businesses and organisations to plant more trees. The partnership has supported a range of activities since it started in 2011, including tree planting, orchard creation and community woodland events.

If you would like to work with us on tree related projects please email environment@london.gov.uk

Planting trees

We have planted 20,000 street trees across London under the Mayor’s Street Tree Initiative.

We have also supported over 60 community projects through the London Tree and Woodland Community Grant Scheme since 2012. This has resulted in over 8,000 trees being planted as well as engaging over 8,000 children and adults in the projects.

We have worked with the RE:LEAF Partnership on tree planting events and projects, resulting in over 400,000 trees being planted.


We promote the importance of trees and woodlands across London. We have established London Tree Week in May, which is a week when we celebrate and appreciate London’s trees with a week of events and activities.

We also host the London Tree and Woodland Awards which recognise leading projects and people who have contributed to maintaining and improving London’s Trees and Woodlands.

What can you do?

See Team London for ideas of volunteering projects you could help with, including tree planting.

Apply for grant funding from the Community Grant Scheme.

Plant a tree! We are offering free trees for schools in London, see the For the Love of Trees - London page to apply. The Tree Council also provide small grants towards the cost of tree planting for schools and communities.

Download the 'Tree-Routes' app (for iphone/ipad) built in partnership with the Woodland Trust. The app lets you see trees of interest across London by borough or tube line.

Any questions?

If you have any questions about our tree or woodland activities just email us at environment@london.gov.uk




Plant a Tree in Your City


Cities in California: Planting Trees and Going Green

San Francisco - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friends_of_the_Urban_Forest

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Los Angeles - https://www.treepeople.org/action

(2015) For over 40 years TreePeople have been pioneering (and 'bioneering') urban forestry.

As TreePeople explains on their website: "TreePeople inspires and supports the people of LA to come together to plant and care for trees, harvest the rain, and renew depleted landscapes. We unite with communities to grow a greener, shadier and more water-secure city at homes, neighborhoods, schools and in the local mountains. We work with volunteer leaders using our unique Citizen Forester model, and we influence government agencies for a healthy, thriving Los Angeles"

TreePeople have involved more than 2 million people in planting and caring for more than 2 million trees. TreePeople is a leading voice in dealing with the effects of California's current drought and in resilient planning and acting to mitigate climate change impacts.

TreePeople is an organizational model for community projects, programs and visionary efforts that are being adopted nationally and globally. GreenPolicy friend and cohort Andy Lipkis, founder of TreePeople, is a personal model of activism on behalf of green communities.

Verde, bueno

10 Best Cities for Urban Forests





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Tags: Treehuggers; TreePeople

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