Frequently-asked questions

What is Tree-Athlon 2009?

The Tree-Athlon is a unique running event, which encourages people to raise funds towards tree planting whilst also raising awareness of the importance and benefits of urban trees. In the spirit of a traditional triathlon, the Tree-Athlon is a three-part event: a 5-km run around an award-winning park, the chance to make a tree wish and share it with the world, and the opportunity to take home your very own sapling to plant!

Where does Tree-Athlon 2009 take place?

This year the Tree-Athlon will be held in three cities: London, Leeds and Manchester. For the fifth year running, the London Tree-Athlon will take place in Battersea Park, on Saturday 19th September 2009. We're back in Leeds for the third year at the beautiful Temple Newsam Estate on Sunday 27th September, and we're coming to Manchester for the second time at Heaton Park on Sunday 4th October!

Can anyone take part?

The race is open to those aged 14 years of age and over. You can register on your own or as a team with your friends or colleagues. If you register as a team, each team member will have the team name and the same tree wish printed on their running bib.

How do I register?

You can register for each event online now. Registration costs £20 for the London Tree-Athlon and £10 for Leeds or Manchester. All those who register will receive a free running pack with a t-shirt and personalised running bib. Runners will also receive a medal, a tree sapling and a goody bag on completion of the race. Please go to the Register to take part section of the website and follow the steps to register for the race.

When do I get my running pack?

Once you have registered online and we have all your details, we will be able to send you a running pack containing your Tree-Athlon t-shirt, personalised race bib and resources to help you raise your £25 target. The pack should be with you within 14 days of registering. If you have not received it within this time please contact 'Petra' the Tree-Athlon Co-ordinator on 020 7820 4413 or

How will I hear about the programme on the day?

We will be sending you regular email updates full of information about the event, specific timings, training and fundraising tips. If in any doubt please visit or call 'Petra' the Tree-Athlon Co-ordinator on 020 7820 4413.

What about food?

All Tree-Athletes can pre-order a brunch for themselves or their friends when registering. The brunch costs £10 and will include delicious baguettes, fruit and drinks. Brunches will be available for collection after the race and proceeds will go towards Trees for Cities urban tree planting projects.

How do I look after my sapling?

Once your sapling is established you can plant it in your garden, allotment or outside space, or you can leave it in the planter and prune to your desired size.

  • Choose a safe location not too close to any buildings.
  • Don't plant your sapling directly under windows or on your neighbour's land – remember it will grow!
  • Do not plant in very dry, very wet or freezing conditions.
  • Use plenty of water before and after planting.
  • Try to avoid planting anything else under the tree in its first few years.
  • Mulch lightly and evenly with 5cm of composted material once a year.
  • Keep lawn mowers and trimmers away from the sapling to avoid damage.
  • Prune dead or injured branches immediately.

What can I do with my sapling if I do not have anywhere to plant it?

Every Tree-Athlete will receive their own native tree sapling. These are small saplings that can be planted in a plant pot until they are established, when they can be moved outside. If you do not have an outside space to plant your saplings in, why not give it to a family member or friend with a garden or allotment, or donate the sapling to your local school or community centre?

Where does my money go?

The money raised from the Tree-Athlon will fund tree-planting projects across the UK and internationally, such as the creation of outdoor classrooms at London schools, planting new woodland plots in Leeds, the creation of a community orchard in Manchester, continuing native tree conservation projects in Peru, training local women in tree conservation in Ethiopia, and planting thousands more trees in Nairobi to help reforest the city.

How do trees help the environment?

Trees have countless benefits to our cities and the wider environment, including providing a habitat and food for animals, insects and birds, supporting the eco-system, filtering out harmful pollutants from vehicle emissions and providing health benefits, landscape and environmental screening for local communities, not to mention that trees are beautiful to look at! Find out more about the importance and benefits of urban trees.

Are there ways for non-runners to get involved?

  • You can support greening projects in urban areas without running the Tree-Athlon by sponsoring your friends who are taking part. Or why not become a member of Trees for Cities – join us today and we will plant a tree in the city project of your choice.
  • We need the help of volunteers in each city to assist with the smooth running of the event! We'll need volunteers to be on hand throughout the day to assist the Trees for Cities team with the handing out of medals, refreshments and goody bags and to help out with activities. Please contact if you would like more information on volunteering at the event.
  • You can come down and support the runners on the day. There will be plenty of fun tree-themed activities and entertainments for non-runners.
In association with
Sponsored by
Arup Festival Republic Logistik Palo alto RSA Thames Water Velvet
In partnership with
Love manchester Breathing Places Leeds City Council Manchester City Council Manchester City Council Radio Aire Red Rose Forest
Thanks to
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