Our Environment

Our natural environment works hard to capture our harmful emissions and turn them into the oxygen we breathe. We’re working hard to ensure our county is as green as possible to help us on our journey to net zero.

The Free Tree Giveaway is back for a second year with another 15,000 tree saplings up for grabs!

Applications are open to residents, schools, community groups and town and parish councils.

Apply today to claim a free tree sapling to plant this winter
By completing this online application, you will be reserving an individual tree sapling or sapling pack to plant on your property.

There are two tree species available for small, medium and large sized gardens, as well as small planter-based shrubs available for those with limited garden space, balconies or rented properties.

Packs of up to 120 saplings will be available to schools, community groups and town and parish councils, including hedge, copse or native harvest packs.

The trees are small cell grown plants, sourced from the UK and provided along with a biodegradable shelter guard, cane and an electronic link to planting and aftercare instructions.

Any Free Tree saplings obtained through this scheme should only be planted on land you own unless you have an agreement with a private landowner.

The scheme aims to provide every household in Northumberland with the opportunity to plant a tree before 2030, and challenges everyone to consider what changes they can make in their daily lives to help reduce carbon emissions, making Northumberland a cleaner and greener county for all.

Please note: Upon completion of this form, you will receive an automated receipt of application. This is not confirmation of successful application to the scheme. We are not accepting applications from residents outside of Northumberland County Council boundaries and will not accept more than one order per postal address.

We will predominantly be contacting applicants via email. Please make sure your email address is correct, and that you check your junk / spam folders for any missed communications from ourselves.

Frequently asked questions

What trees are on offer this year?
There are two tree species available for small, medium and large sized gardens, as well as small planter-based shrubs available for those with limited garden space, balconies or rented properties.
These include:

  • Large garden: Wild cherry, English oak
  • Medium garden: Silver birch, Rowan
  • Small garden: Crab apple, Holly
  • Limited garden space: Box, Wild privet
Schools, community groups and town/parish councils can order hedge, copse or native harvest packs of up to 120 saplings.

Where can I collect my tree sapling from?
We are running collection points across Northumberland during November, December and January. These include:
  • Alnwick
  • Ashington
  • Bedlington
  • Berwick
  • Blyth
  • Bolam Lake
  • Cramlington
  • Druridge Bay
  • Haltwhistle
  • Hexham
  • Morpeth
  • Prudhoe
  • Rothbury
  • Wooler
Confirmation of your collection details will be communicated once applications have closed. Please do not attend any collection points without this confirmation email.

What will I get?
The trees are small cell grown plants, approximately 30cm in length, sourced from the UK and will be provided with a biodegradable tree shelter guard, cane and planting and care instructions.

When is the best time to plant my tree?
Winter is the prime tree planting season. Saplings need to be planted when they are dormant, so they are less likely to get damaged. In the UK the best months to plant a tree are between November and March.

Can I plant a tree if I rent my property?
We advise that anyone planning on planting a tree in the ground do so on their own property or seek permission from the landowner. However, we understand that this might not be possible for everyone, and that’s why we’ve selected two species of tree specifically for those who rent or have limited garden space. These are under the ‘limited garden space’ section of the form and include box and wild privet species.

What’s on offer for schools, community groups and town/parish councils?
If you’re a school, community group or town/parish council you can apply for a free tree pack in sizes 10, 30, 60, 90 or 120. Choices of tree packs are:
  • Hedge - Make a natural screen or connect existing woodland to help wildlife stay on the move. You will get a variety of each species for 8 metres of full, easy to manage hedging. Species include: Hornbeam, Hawthorn, Dog Rose, Hazel
  • Copse - Plant a small group of trees as a wildlife haven, providing a valuable food and shelter source. Species include: Silver birch, Rowan, Wild Cherry, Hawthorn
  • Native Harvest - Ideal as a food source for wildlife or you can harvest the fruit and nuts for your own projects such as jams, baking etc. Species include: Hazel, Crab Apple, Elder, Rowan
You will also be asked to give us some information about your tree plant. This doesn’t need to include exact dates, but we’d like to know roughly when and where and who will be joining you to plant your saplings, so we can map where the trees end up.

We would also like to invite schools and community groups to take part in some case studies. If you’re interested, tick the box to say so and we’ll be in touch with exactly what that entails.

How does this link in with The Queen’s Green Canopy campaign?
The Queen’s Green Canopy is a unique tree planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022 which invites people from across the UK to ‘Plant a Tree for the Jubilee’.

We’re encouraging everyone across the county to get involved in planting a tree for the jubilee, and what better way to this than claiming a free tree!

Why not send us photos and videos of your tree plant to freetree@northumberland.gov.uk and we’ll share them on our social media channels.

Or you could take part in a local tree plant with a community group or your school.

Watch this space to see what people in your area are doing for The Jubilee.

How do I change my order?
If you have accidentally ordered the wrong sized tree for your garden, we will try to change your order. However, we can’t guarantee we will be able to accommodate everyone. Please email us at freetree@northumberland.gov.uk and we will try our best to accommodate your needs.

How do I change my collection date?
Please get in touch if you want to change your collection location, date or time by email at freetree@northumberland.gov.uk and we will try our best to accommodate your needs.

I can’t access any collection points; how can I get my tree?
We have tried to select collection locations that are accessible to as many residents as possible, but we understand that due to the rural landscape of Northumberland, these might not be accessible for everyone. If you cannot easily travel to one of our collection locations, please get in touch with us at freetree@northumberland.gov.uk and we will try our best to accommodate to your needs.