Don’t empty the bath, water the trees

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TREES could be watered with bath water to get over the hose pipe ban in West Sussex.

The highways department of the county council is calling on the public to help care for newly-planted street trees during the ban by using rain water from water butts, bath water or water from washing up bowls.

Between 40 and 50 different types of trees are planted each year by West Sussex highways teams. They range from Japanese cherry blossom and crab apple trees through to oak, ash and beech trees and are planted according to residents’ requests.

Councillor Pieter Montyn, in charge of highways and transport, said: ‘Young trees are very vulnerable because their roots sit about a foot from the surface.

‘If residents could help with the establishment of the new trees, by watering regularly with recycled water, it would be greatly appreciated. Watering trees in this way will ensure that the tree has the best chance for survival.’

Regular watering is vital during the first two or three years of a tree’s life, particularly during spring, summer and autumn.

Buckets and watering cans filled with water from taps are permitted for watering, but running water through hose pipes is not. Recycled water from dishwashers should be avoided because the high salt content damages plants.

The council said trees are vital as they reflect seasonal change and improve air quality.