The initiative, called My Tree Our Forest uses UK-grown trees supplied by Alba Trees.
More than 50 collection hubs facilitated by Coed Cadw, the Woodland Trust in Wales, are set to open their doors to the public from 19 November. Behind them is an army of dedicated volunteers ready to share expert growing advice in choosing the right tree for the right space.
Some 295,000 trees are up for grabs and their planting will contribute to the National Forest for Wales. Ten different species of native and broadleaf trees are available to choose from. These are: Hazel; Rowan; Hawthorn; Silver Birch; Crab Apple; Sessile Oak; Dogwood; Dog Rose; Field Maple; and Elder.
Speaking at a visit to Bedford Park in Bridgend where the first trees were being collected, Deputy Climate Change Minister Lee Waters said:
“Trees are a lifeline to us and all of the amazing life that they support. Where would our birds, insects and animals be without them… where would we be without them?
“I want everyone in Wales to check out our website to find your nearest tree giveaway hub and pick up your free broadleaf tree from tomorrow. On site, our wonderful volunteers will be ready with their expert advice to help you choose the right tree for your space and situation.
“As COP27 draws to a close in Egypt, our continued Team Wales effort in fronting up to the climate and nature emergencies is essential.
“By growing a beautiful tree in your own backyard, you can kickstart your contribution and help grow a healthy and happy Wales for us and our future generations to benefit from.”
In order to become a Net Zero Wales by 2050, experts have advised that Wales must plant 86 million trees over the next decade.
“I would like to thank all involved at Coed Cadw for partnering with us to deliver this project and I look forward to seeing its impact on our environment.”
Natalie Buttriss, director of Coed Cadw said: “Trees have always offered simple and cost-effective solutions to the challenges we all face and through the My Tree Our Forest initiative, we hope to inspire people from all backgrounds, regions and walks of life to get involved, and as a result, feel more connected to the multiple benefits that trees can bring.”
Members of the Welsh public are encouraged to collect a tree, free of charge, from a regional hub near them. On collection they will receive advice from trained volunteers on how to plant and care for their new tree.
For those unable to attend a hub to collect a tree, from the 21 November, one can be ordered online and delivered to their door. Alternatively, a tree can be planted on their behalf, helping to grow a National Forest for Wales, home by home.
To find out where your local tree giveaway hub is, visit: woodlandtrust.org.uk/wales-giveaway