Coed Caerdydd – Frequently Asked Questions

Coed Caerdydd

Sites of interest are selected based on recommendations from colleagues, results from the public and ward members consultations (2019 and 2021), and further suggestions from the public via email or social media.

We will complete an initial desktop exercise to determine whether the site may be suitable for tree planting. If nominated sites pass the initial criteria, we will check site ecological value, services (e.g. water, telecommunications), and permissions.

We may determine the site is not suitable for tree planting due to several factors; including size, conflict with other site uses, and conflict with other existing habitats already important for biodiversity.

If these checks are passed, we will then work with local stakeholders to determine planting designs and reserve trees for planting.

We will put up site notices where possible to ensure local residents are informed of planting plans and encourage involvement.

We will then confirm a suitable planting date within the next tree planting season (autumn 2022 – spring 2023) or put on our list of sites to plant in future years.

You can join our mailing list and social media to be kept informed of tree planting and other volunteer opportunities. You can also nominate sites and apply for free trees for your household.

We aim to check on our newly planted trees several times in their first few years. Some sites may require more maintenance due to the types of trees, size, or site conditions, and we will factor this into our decisions of sites and trees to plant.

We are developing a network of “Tree Guardians” to help us monitor and maintain newly planted trees. These volunteers regularly check on the trees, help water them, and let us know of any damage. Further information on how to join this network is available on our “Get Involved” section.

We also add all our newly planted sites to Arbortrack which is a system to monitor trees and schedule maintenance works. This system is used across the Council’s Parks department and holds records of all our trees in Cardiff, when they should be surveyed, and any works that need to be carried out.

If you have a query about maintenance of existing trees, please contact the parks department:

Most of our current and future tree stocks come from nurseries across the UK which grow their own native saplings. This includes heritage varieties of fruit trees which we are looking to reintroduce in community orchards.

Over the longer term, we will also propagate our own stocks at our tree nursery in Forest Farm. We will collect and grow on seeds from Cardiff with the aim of creating a supply of resilient trees of local provenance.

This will depend upon species, site conditions, and size of the tree planted.

Some species, like Willow, are very fast growing and will make a visual impact almost immediately. Other species, like Oak, will take several decades to reach young maturity but can live for hundreds of years.

Many of our sites of new planting are in public parks. We would not want to set a precedent of fencing off large areas as this would conflict with these being community spaces for all to enjoy and could change the aesthetics of the park.

We do expect and account for some losses from accidental damage or vandalism in addition to environmental factors. Our “Tree Guardians” help us to monitor newly planted sites and report losses. We will aim to replace any major losses of new trees in the following season.

Tree guards are useful for sites where rabbits and deer are a major risk or where the site is exposed to harsh environmental conditions (e.g. mountainous sites with strong winds and prone to frost). However, most of our sites in Cardiff have relatively mild micro-climates and few pests.

There can also be issues with guards not being removed at an appropriate later date which can damage bark and expose trees to diseases.

Therefore, guards and fencing for most of our Cardiff sites are considered unnecessary.

Climate change, pests, and diseases are considerable risks to new and existing trees. These threats will cause changes to the conditions in which trees grow and can impact upon whole species.

We are adapting to climate change by experimenting with different species that can cope with changing conditions; for example, species which are more drought tolerant or less sensitive to wind throw. We are introducing younger trees to areas where we predict losses of the mature canopy from storm events. We are also aiming to propagate our own stock of local provenance so that trees will have grown in and adapted to the micro-climate.

Propagating our own stock and buying from UK nurseries will also help reduce the risk of importing new pests and diseases. There are several species currently under threat from introduced pests and diseases; including Ash, Oak, and Elm. Our response may vary depending upon the type of threat, number of trees affected, and available mitigation.

Ash Dieback is a massive threat to the Ash species. Ash makes up about 10% of Cardiff’s tree stock and so there will be noticeable differences in woodlands and street scenes as diseased trees are removed. These can be opportunities to introduce more diverse species or allow the floral layer in woodlands to develop from gaps in the tree canopy. With other species, like Elm, we are starting to introduce hybrid varieties supposedly more resilient to Dutch Elm disease.

Overall, we will aim to plant a good variety of species, ages, and types to create more resilient woodlands and streetscapes.

Whilst we do appreciate the concerns raised over the loss of trees and habitats, planning applications are decided by the Council’s planning service as the Local Planning Authority.

All development proposals are considered against the policies contained in the Council’s Local Development Plan including Policy KP16 Green Infrastructure which seeks to protect Cardiff’s natural heritage.

If development results in overall loss of green infrastructure, appropriate compensation will be required. If you would like to find out more, please visit Planning (

We do understand the importance and benefits of mature trees but planting more of the right trees in the right places will also be vital to the resilience of Cardiff’s future tree canopy.

We are working with communities to identify new planting opportunities and build a picture of existing well-loved trees and spaces and how these can be managed to maximise their benefits for nature and people.

The pilot project (2021-2023) was mainly funded by the Welsh Government’s Enabling Natural Resources grant, with additional funding from Cardiff Council, Woodland Trust, and Trees for Cities.

The next stage of the project is mainly funded by Cardiff Council, with additional funding from the Woodland Trust and Trees for Cities.

We are also exploring options for additional funding from other environmental grant providers.

With the help of communities, we aim to increase Cardiff’s tree canopy from 18.9% to 25% as part of One Planet Cardiff. This equates to roughly 839ha of new planting.

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