A new scheme has been launched to plant more trees in Edinburgh, and take better care of the ones we already have. 

Tree Time is a joint initiative by Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspace Trust, City of Edinburgh Council, and Woodland Trust Scotland. 

In return for a donation, members of the public can use commemorative plaques on trees to remember loved ones, mark personal milestones such as anniversaries, or simply make a statement about the special value of a particular tree in a particular place. You get 140 characters, so don’t waffle.

Money doesn’t grow on trees

Four suggested ‘donation packages’ are available, ranging from £20+ to £5,000+.

Benefits at the lower end of the scale include a signed certificate from the Lord Provost and entry onto an electronic roll. 

For £200–£5,000 you can adopt a tree, although only one is currently available in Broughton – a monkey puzzle in Hopetoun Crescent Garden, yours for £1,000.

For £5,000+ you can plant a tree. Priority street sites currently include one in this area – a spot on Annandale Street, opposite the bus station. But if you have a better idea, the organisers are happy to discuss it.

At the higher end of the scale, your commemorative plaque will remain in situ for 10 years, after which you’ll be given an option to renew it or have it posted back to you.

More boughs, few wows

All things considered, Spurtle welcomes the initiative. Tree planting and maintenance is an expensive business, which figures low on the Council’s list of spending priorities. Any new stream of income can therefore only do good.

On the other hand, we have doubts about the implementation. Apart from the virtuous glow of doing something worthwhile, the selfish benefits of donating at the lower end of the scale are hard to see.

At the higher end of suggested donations, organisers should perhaps do more to explain how planting one tree apparently costs so much. And the unsentimental policy of removing plaques after 10 years may strike some potential donors as insensitive and poor posterity-for-money.

Capital tree facts and figures

  • For more on the Tree Time scheme, visit HERE.
  • There are 650,000 trees in Edinburgh, and 513,000 inhabitants.
  • More than 100,000 trees in the capital are in critical condition or dying.
  • To compensate for losses, we need to plant around 6,500 trees per year.
  • In May, councillors from all parties signed up to support the UK-wide Charter for Trees, Woods and People


Hopetoun Crescent Garden