Adopt a Tree

Several trees will be available for adoption each year which can be planted in a council verge on a first come first served basis. Before applying, please consider the following:

Who can request a tree?

The scheme is open to any individual, community group or business, who wishes to have a tree planted in the verge outside their property.

Can I choose the variety of tree?

Yes, you can choose from 6 varieties of tree under the council's Adopt-a-Tree scheme:

  1. Turkish Hazel (Corylus colurna)
  2. Mongolian Lime (Tilia mongolica)
  3. Worplesdon Sweet Gum (Liquidambar styraciflua “Worplesdon”)
  4. “Streetwise” cultivar (Acer campestre “Streetwise”)
  5. Frans Fontaine” cultivar (Carpinus betulus “Frans Fontaine”)
  6. Callery Pear (Pyrus calleryana “Chanticleer”)
  7. Midland Hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata)
  8. Cherry Accolade (Prunus Accolade)

What does it cost to adopt a tree?

The council will cover the costs based on a limited availability on a first come first served basis. This includes supply and planting, installing stakes, guard, ties and watering tube.

Why can't I buy my own tree and plant it myself, or ask the council to plant it?

Wirral Council will not allow the general public to excavate the highway or grass verges. Our trees are specific sizes and varieties sourced from a reputable supplier, and our arboriculture contractor is professionally qualified and insured to undertake this task has safety awareness training and is conscious of the inherent dangers due to incorrectly located underground equipment, and risks to passers-by that could be affected.

My road has a flagged (or tarmac) footway, rather than a grass verge, can I still adopt a tree?


Excavation of the solid footway would be required prior to planting, so would need to be undertaken separately by the council’s highway maintenance contractor, as would any ‘making good’ of the footway afterwards.

The additional cost of this could amount to several hundred pounds, so may make the Adopt-a-Tree scheme unaffordable, therefore it has been decided not to offer the Adopt-a-Tree scheme for planting in solid footways.

I want my adopted tree to be planted on the verge outside my property (or my neighbour's property) to discourage neighbours or visitors from parking there, can they object?

The council will not uphold objections from neighbours, provided the tree is not being planted outside your neighbour's property. Where planting is borderline (between properties), as the applicant, you are responsible for ensuring adjacent owners are in agreement, and you should provide documentary evidence to the council of such when you submit your Adopt-a-Tree application.

When will my adopted tree be planted?

Tree planting is usually carried out from November to March, when trees are dormant, as this is more likely to give a young tree the best chance of survival.

What if my adopted tree dies, is vandalised or otherwise requires attention?

There are no guarantees that your tree will survive, however the stock supplied will be of high quality and will be planted correctly.

Once planted, the council cannot control what happens to the tree during its establishment, but provided it is watered regularly during dry weather, there is no horticultural reason why your tree should not establish successfully. However, the tree could be destroyed by a vehicle impact, or vandalism, and in these situations the council will not take responsibility for trees that are lost to these or other events leading to losses.

Who will be responsible for maintaining my adopted tree once it is planted?

Once planted in a highway location, the tree will form part of Wirral's tree asset, and will be maintained by the council. However, we would appreciate your help in watering the tree during periods of drought for the first three years.

Looking after your adopted tree

If you have adopted a tree through the council’s programme, the tree will be maintained by the council however, we would appreciate your help to look after it during the first three years to give it the best chance of survival. To do this, follow our top tips for watering and weeding. 

Watering your tree:

  • newly planted trees need to be watered regularly - particularly in the summer months (from June to September)
  • it’s good practice to water your tree at least once a week during the summer
  • the tree has a watering pipe, so half of the water should be poured down the pipe and the other half on the surface of the ground
  • watering should be carried out ideally in the early morning or evening
  • you can water your tree sustainably with harvested rainwater collected in a water butt or similar container and applied using a watering can


  • keeping a 1m diameter clear of weeds and grass around the tree for the first two to three years will reduce competition for nutrients and moisture
  • you can suppress weeds with bark chips or straw

For more tips about Tree care, you can visit the Woodland Trust website

Apply to adopt a tree

Please email to apply.

The planting programme for the 2023/2024 season is now full. New requests will be included in the 2024/2025 programme.