Frequently Asked Questions

Tree Time is the opportunity to help us plant more trees across the region.

Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspace Trust

Tree Time is an initiative of ELGT – the greenspace charity for Edinburgh and the Lothians. For over 30 years, the Trust has worked to improve and promote nearby green areas in partnership with a range of organisations – from community groups, school and local authorities, to businesses.

Tree Time Partnerships

Tree Time will help deliver the Edinburgh Living Landscape – a partnership between ELGT, The City of Edinburgh Council, Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh and the Scottish Wildlife Trust.

The Edinburgh Living Landscape’s portfolio of projects will create, restore and connect green areas of the city, and influence the design of green buildings and infrastructure.

It also helps to deliver on the  Million Tree City Initiative which is in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council and the Woodland Trust with an aim of having 1 million trees in the city by 2030.

We are also working with West Lothian Council and East Lothian Council to help replace lost trees and to mitigate against the Climate Emergency.

Why have we lost so many trees?

Trees have been felled for a number of reasons: perhaps they were unsafe or new developments have meant they had to be removed. Unfortunately many have not been replaced, mainly due to budgetary constraints placed on the council.

I pay my council tax/business rates, surely the Council should be paying to plant and look after the trees in the city?

The local council do fund all the current work in parks and streets. Unfortunately though the council has a lot of demands on its resources, and because trees are not regarded by many as an urgent issue, other areas of work such as schools and waste management are prioritised.

If I donate to ‘adopt a tree’, what happens to the money?

A small amount will be used to pay for a plaque to be fitted onto the tree and managing the scheme. Most of the money will be ‘ring fenced’ to pay for the planting and care of trees. This would include planting trees in streets, parks and other greenspaces and carrying out maintenance work on existing trees.

There’s a lot more to planting a tree than just the tree – what else does our support pay for?

It might pay for digging the hole, maintaining the tree until it is established, tree protection such as stakes and guards.

The website says it’s a ‘suggested donation’. Does this mean I can donate anything?

Yes. How we acknowledge your donation does depend on how much you donate though. So, for example, if you donated £20, then we would acknowledge your donation with the self-certificate you can download from the website. If you donated £10,000 you could choose whether you wanted your donation acknowledged by planting two new trees or perhaps just one tree. The levels of suggested donation are just there to guide you.

Can I apply Gift Aid to my donation?

Yes, you will be given the option at checkout to add Gift Aid. In order for Tree Time to reclaim the tax you have paid on your donations, you must have paid income or capital gains tax (in the UK) for each tax year (6 April to 5 April) at least equal to the tax that all the charities or Community Amateur Sports Clubs that you donate to will reclaim on your gifts for that tax year. Other taxes such as VAT and Council Tax do not qualify.

Can I have anything at all written on the plaque?

We will install a plaque on trees for the Adopt a Tree and Plant a Tree packages which will have a maximum of 140 characters, within reason, you can write what you like. We’d be happy to make suggestions for wording if you prefer. Plaques will aimed to be installed within 1 month of a donation being received.

What happens if the plaque or tree is vandalised?

Unfortunately, this does happen although we will always suggest locations where we think this is unlikely. If the plaque is vandalised it will be replaced once at no extra cost. If it is vandalised again the donor will be given the option of a different location (at no extra cost) or replacing the plaque again for a fee. If the tree is damaged or has to be removed for safety of other reasons the donor will be contacted and alternative tree offered for the remaining period.

What happens if a Tree Time tree dies?

Sadly, this can happen – trees planted by contractors often with a guarantee to be looked after for the first year, and replaced if they die. But generally, any new trees which do not survive will need to be replaced as part of Tree Time.

What happens after the plaque has been in place for 10 years?

We will contact you and ask if you’d like to make another donation to keep the plaque in place. If you don’t wish to or we do not receive a reply we will remove the plaque and send it to the last postal address we have for you.

Does our donation pay for any other type of plant?

Possibly – if the tree planting is part of a landscaping project, there might be the possibility of bushes and shrubs or woodland plants.

Can we help plant the trees?

This is not always possible, depending on where trees are being planted – for example, large street trees need to be planted by contractors.

Can the trees be planted on private land?

Currently we are only listing sites on public land but if you want to plant trees on private land then please get in touch.

Can we nominate somewhere else not on the list to plant trees?

We have a sample list of where trees can be planted – but if there is somewhere else then we will need to asses if it is possible.

When will the trees be planted?

As a rule, the tree-planting season is during the winter when the trees are dormant and have settled in before spring. Trees planted in the summer need more maintenance in terms of watering – but in some instances, trees can be planted at all times of year.

Are all the trees you plant native species?

Not necessarily – many trees are not native and the species will depend on the location and what is most suitable.