We can advise on what is the right type of tree to plant for your setting.
Before planting a tree you need to think about what is appropriate for your setting, how big will it grow and what will be the final size. We generally recommend avoid planting large trees within 10 – 15 metres of buildings and you of course should avoid key conservation habitats.
Choosing the right tree
- A large garden might be suitable for species such as oak, beech, ash or hornbeam, which provide homes and food for an extraordinary range of insects and the birds which feed on them. Native oaks, for example, are home to 423 different leaf-eating insects.
- If your garden isn’t big enough to accommodate larger trees, medium-sized trees still provide a huge amount of pleasure – and they are important to wildlife. All of the following, except field maple and silver birch (which offer wonderful autumn colour), have the added bonus of beautiful blossom in spring:
Common whitebeam (Sorbus aria)
- wild cherry (Prunus avium)
- crab apple (Malus sylvestris)
- field maple (Acer campestre)
- silver birch (Betula pendula)
- Even smaller trees – and shrubs can provide a home for an amazing array of animals and insects. Willows and sallows support more plant-eating insects than any other native tree or shrub. Small trees, ideal for smaller spaces, can provide a living boundary. Yew is ideal for a formal straight-edged hedge, while hawthorn and blackthorn provide dense, protective cover for the garden and birds to nest.
When to plant
Plant hedges between November and March. To encourage wildlife, brush your natural garden waste into the lower part of the hedge rather than burning it. You might provide a home for hedgehogs and other small mammals.
Some small native trees:
holly (Ilex aquifolium)
hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)
hazel (Corylus avellana)
Some native shrubs:
blackthorn – (Prunus spinosa)
buckthorn – (Rhamnus catharticus); Alder buckthorn - (Frangula alnus);
guelder rose – (Viburnum opulus)