EDINBURGH could be home to one million trees by 2030 if plans are approved this coming Tuesday (28 January 2020).

If a report entitled 'Edinburgh: A Million Tree City' is approved by the Culture and Communities Committee, the Council will draw up an action plan to achieve the one million tree target in urban Edinburgh. This will include tree-planting opportunities on both public and private land, via new developments and to replace trees lost to age, disease and damage.

An Edinburgh Million Tree Forum made up of representatives from a wide range of relevant organisations will bring together principal stakeholders to set an updated vision for trees in Edinburgh and find ways of planting more trees, more quickly.

Representation would be invited from across relevant Council services, the Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust, the Woodland Trust, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Trees of Edinburgh, the Scottish Wildlife Trust, the Trust for Conservation Volunteers and the Edinburgh Living Landscape Initiative.

Annual tree-planting targets would also be set if the Million Tree City plan gets the green light from councillors next week. Numbers of trees would be publicly reported on an on-going basis, while regular i-Tree Eco surveys would be carried out to assess the ecosystem benefits trees are playing in the capital.

Culture and Communities Convener councillor Donald Wilson 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. Last year we became the first Scottish local authority to support the Charter for Trees, pledging our full commitment to cherish, nurture and celebrate our trees. And we're delighted to be part of the excellent TreeTime initiative whereby people can adopt or plant a new tree in the Capital.

"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."

He added: "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."

Charlie Cumming, chief executive, Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspace Trust, said: "We are delighted to be part of the Million Tree City initiative that will contribute to a significant increase in the number of trees being planted in the city. It is a great opportunity to raise awareness and promote the benefits that trees provide, especially for our urban environments. ELGT are always keen to work in partnership with individuals and organisations to deliver environmental improvements such as the Million Tree City project."

The capital currently has more than 730,000 trees, compared to around 519,000 residents - more trees per head of population than any other Scottish city.