Epsom and Ewell Tree Advisory Board
Founded in 1994, the Epsom & Ewell Tree Advisory Board (EETAB) is a partnership of environmentally minded volunteers from the local community who work together to safeguard and promote the value of trees in the borough. Our volunteer TREE CHAMPIONS are people who feel that trees matter and who help to care for trees in their road or local park.
Our aim is to ensure that we pass on to future generations a borough that is at least as leafy as the one we have inherited. EETAB is part of the wider Surrey Tree Warden Network.
We have several ongoing projects ranging from tree planting projects in communities and parks to working with Surrey County Council to get more street trees planted.
Allotment Tree Nursery
We have a small tree nursery at the Alexandra Road allotment site. We use this site to care for young trees so that there is ready stock for tree planting projects. We have several hundred trees in pots at the nursery. A team of volunteers look after the saplings there and help maintain the plot and we are always in need of extra help with this work.
Over the past year EETAB have been involved in planting projects at various sites in the borough, the largest of which has been helping to plant a 120m long section of hedge at the Epsom Riding for the Disabled site in January, followed by a further 25m section of hedge in March this year. Species planted included hazel, field maple, hawthorn, hornbeam, willow, rowan, ash, dogwood, and dog rose.
When familiar trees are lost (due to age/disease/extreme weather) and not replaced, the appearance of a neighbourhood is altered, so the topic of street trees stirs some strong emotions amongst residents. In the planting season 2021/2022 just 10 new street trees were planted in our borough, a figure far lower than the number of street trees lost. EETAB ran a campaign highlighting the loss of street trees and the increasing numbers of stumps left in our verges to put pressure on Surrey County Council to plant more trees. As a result of this campaign progress has been made and almost 30 street trees were planted in our borough in the 2022/2023 and we worked with Surrey County Council to get 44 planted in the 2023/2024 season. There is still concern in some areas about a continuing decline in numbers of street trees, particularly in the tree lined 1930s estates of the northeastern side of the borough, and we appreciate residents’ frustration about the reduction in the number of trees. Replacement trees are not being planted in some of these verges as they do not pass the criteria set by Surrey County Council for street tree planting, often due to the narrow width of the verge, or due to the presence of utilities underground.
Tree care and watering
Although there is often much focus on tree planting in the media, the ongoing care and watering of these newly planted trees is equally important. EETAB volunteers regularly check on the newly planted trees in the borough, clearing vegetation around the base of the tree (to reduce competition for water and to prevent strimmer and mower damage), putting down mulch and checking the tree ties and supports. Young trees need watering regularly for the first few years after they are planted with increased frequency during spells of hot dry weather. In the summer months we need Tree Champion volunteers to help with watering young street trees, we have a list of trees in need of a champion and would welcome additional help with this.
If you would like to find out more about the Epsom and Ewell Tree Advisory Board, please check our website: www.eetab.org.uk, follow us on Facebook @EpsomEwellTreeAdvisoryBoard or email us at email@example.com.