One way to remember the life of a friend or loved one is through the arrangement of a longstanding tribute, a reminder that they are not forgotten and the donation of a tree is often considered on these occasions.

Donating a tree may also be considered to commemorate an anniversary or an historical event.

Gillingham Town Council is currently seeking offers of sponsorship for tree planting.

1. Types and size of trees suitable for donating

Gillingham was once part of The Royal Forest but over the centuries the area has become deforested and evidence of its once Royal connections are almost erased. Gillingham sits on Kimmeridge clay and therefore careful consideration should be given to the choice of tree. Below is a list of trees recommended by the Tree and Landscape officer at North Dorset District Council.

Medium to large (statement) trees:

  • London Plane
  • Hornbeam
  • Oak
  • Indian Horse Chestnut
  • Lime
  • Sweet Chestnut


Small to medium sized trees:

  • Hornbeam
  • Hawthorn
  • Cherry
  • Field Maple
  • Birch
  • Alder

Note: Other specimen trees will be considered following professional advice regarding its suitability and proposed location.

The size of planting stock should be either:

  • A standard tree (8-10cm stem circumference at 1m, 250-300cm in overall height, with a clear stem of 175-200cm as defined by BS 3936:1992, Part 1 – Specification for trees and shrubs, or
  • A light standard tree (6-8cm stem circumference at 1m, 250-300cm in overall height, with a clear stem of 150-175cm as defined by BS 3926:1992 Part 1 – specification for trees and shrubs.

The cost of a tree varies depending on the size, type and supplier, but on average would cost around £40-£70.

2. Location of donated trees

The location of the tree will very much depend on the soil conditions, nearby water courses, proximity to buildings, cars etc. Trees should require minimal management (for example, trees located next to footpaths/highways should be of a more upright form). If more than one tree is being donated then it is essential that they are given adequate space to prevent from thinning at a later stage.

A tree planting project has been started on the public open space at Upper Lodden Meadow off King John Road to celebrate the 500 anniversary of Gillingham School. The project commenced in 2016 with the planting of 10 oak saplings with the intention of providing an avenue of trees along the tarred path, which may in future link to other areas in and around Gillingham. More trees are required to complete the project.

Over the years Gillingham has lost many of its trees due to the housing development. Tree planting will greatly improve the appearance of the area and restore some of the lost heritage of Gillingham as a Royal Forest, famous for its hunting and the production of quality timber for the construction of buildings and ships.


3. On-going maintenance donated trees

It will be necessary, especially in the first year of planting, for donated trees to be kept well watered. This initial task will be the responsibility of the person(s) donating the tree(s) unless alternative arrangements have been made.

Donated trees will be the responsibility of the Town Council for the lifetime of the tree and will be included in the Town Council’s Tree Condition Survey and Risk Management Plan. If a tree fails, for whatever reason, it will be removed and the original donors contacted, where possible. The Town Council will not replace trees which fail.


4. Plaques and inscriptions

Trees may be dedicated with an engraved plaque, at the expense of the donor. If the dedication plaque becomes vandalised or goes missing it will be the responsibility of the donor to make good or replace. Prior to the erection of a dedication plaque, the wording will need to be approved by the Town Council to ensure that it is suitable for a public place.


5. Delivery and planting

Arrangements can be made for the tree to be delivered to the Town Council’s Workshop and planted by the Town Council’s grounds staff at the location agreed by all parties. If a metal tree guard is required then this expense will need to be included with the donated tree. Galvanised metal guards vary in price but are generally in the region of £70 to £100.


6. How to register for tree donation

To donating a tree(s), please complete the application form - Click Here to Download

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