Edinburgh could become home to one million trees by 2030

The capital will aim to be a 'million tree city' by the end of the decade if plans are pushed forward.

Edinburgh could become home to one million trees by 2030 M J Richardson

Edinburgh could become home to one million trees by 2030 as the city council considers plans to protect and invest in its woodland.

The capital will aim to be a “million tree city” by the end of the decade if plans are pushed forward by the authority’s culture and communities committee on Tuesday.

If approved, the council will form an action plan to achieve the one million tree target in urban Edinburgh – where the number currently stands at approximately 731,000.

It will include planting opportunities on both public and private land through new developments and the replacement of trees lost to age, disease and damage.

Councillor Donald Wilson, culture and communities convener, said: “We’re so proud that Edinburgh is already the UK’s greenest city, with more trees than people, more green space and more green flag parks than any other place in Scotland for people to enjoy. 

“But we want to, and must, do even better – especially as we strive towards our hugely ambitious target of making the city carbon neutral by 2030.

“By joining the cohort of million tree cities such as New York, Shanghai, London and Los Angeles, we’ll be able to substantially reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to lessen the impact of climate change.

“It’s going to require a huge amount of dedicated partnership working but I know we collectively have both the will and the capacity to reach the million tree target, if we all pull together.

“It’s impossible to overstate the benefits trees bring to the urban landscape.

“They help clean our air, reduce the risk of flooding, keep us cool in the summer and warmer in winter and give the wildlife in our city a home, as well as making neighbourhoods look and feel tranquil and appealing.”

The strategy of planting more trees would help the city’s target of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

Annual tree-planting targets would be set if the million tree city plan gets the green light from councillors.

Tree numbers would be publicly reported on an ongoing basis, while regular i-Tree eco surveys would be carried out to assess the ecosystem benefits trees are playing in the capital.

Story by local democracy reporter David Bol