Last chance for parents to claim free tree before January

Applications for a popular free tree scheme for new parents who welcomed arrivals in 2023, will close on 10 January

Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils’ Tree for Life scheme is open to all families in the districts who have or are welcoming a newborn, or newly adopted child, between 1 January and 31 December 2023.

The annual initiative offers parents the chance to mark their arrival by planting a tree.

Applications can be made via the councils’ websites

Parents who may have lost a child during the same period are also able to apply for a remembrance tree. 

It aims to benefit families, communities and the environment by boosting tree coverage across the district.

Having been running for several years, the scheme has seen the councils give out well over a thousand trees, with more than 200 families applying in 2022.

Also being open to those without a garden, a selection of the trees continue to be planted at key locations in the districts including Needham Lake, Shotley Golden Wood, Broom Hill in Hadleigh, Gallowsfield Wood in Haughley and Sproughton Millennium Green.

Sam Evans, who previously applied for a tree for her son Harrison, said:

“It's a really special scheme, even if you don’t have space in your garden, you can plant it locally and visit your tree.

“Harrison is such an outdoorsy boy; he loves being outside. He’s always shown a real interest in the garden, in the plants and the trees. It’s lovely to have the tree in our garden as something sentimental for the family.

“As parents, we’re aware of the benefits trees bring, but being able to teach that to little ones with this hands-on experience, brings it all together.”

Each year, applicants are provided with expert help on picking their tree and how to care for it.

Cllr Daniel Potter, Babergh District Council’s cabinet member for environment, said:

“Year on year, our Tree for Life scheme proves to be incredibly popular with new parents and it is a special way for both us and them to mark their little one’s arrival.

“If you are eligible this year, please do make sure you apply to claim your free tree.

“Not only does it help support our climate change and biodiversity ambitions, but also gives families a reason to spend time in the garden planting and nurturing their tree for years to come.”
Cllr Tim Weller, Mid Suffolk District Council’s cabinet member for environment, culture and wellbeing, said:

“This scheme is our way of celebrating each new life in Mid Suffolk, while supporting our biodiversity by increasing local tree coverage for generations to come.

“I would encourage all new parents in the district to apply and join more than a thousand other families who are already enjoying their trees.”

All trees must be planted within the two districts.

Applications are processed throughout the year, with eligible applicants invited to choose and collect their tree.

2022 applicant Amelia plants her Tree for Life at home with family