Top 10 British Native Trees: Keeping natural beauty and wildlife

Top 10 British Native TreesPlanting British native trees is important – for our landscape heritage, natural beauty and the wildlife community.  But what is a “British native tree” and which one should you choose?  Our tree experts have pulled together a handy guide to tell you all you need to know.

What are British native trees?

British native trees are species that have colonised Britain by natural processes over thousands of years.   British native tree species occur naturally in the British landscape and are well-adapted to the soil conditions and can survive and thrive under the rigours of British weather.  These native trees support a far greater variety of wildlife than their imported counterparts, are more likely to survive and stand a greater chance of flourishing.  Over many generations, these successful native species have formed the genetic make-up of our British woodland and are said to be “of local provenance”.

Why choose British native trees?

  • Beauty:  These trees produce flower, berry and foliage all-year-round to attract the wildlife community – and look fantastic for us, too – season after season.
  • Low maintenance:  Native trees thrive and flourish in their natural habitat and soil conditions, increasing their survival rates and reducing the need for intricate aftercare.  Once planted and protected, your native tree is in it for the long haul.
  • Wildlife:   Native trees support a far greater variety of wildlife than their imported counterparts.
  • Natural heritage: Planting British native trees ensures we stay true to our natural heritage and can continue to maintain the British natural character across the landscape.
  • Forestry:  A well-adapted native tree produces sustainable economic benefits with its quality hardwood timber or coppice wood.

Our Top 10 British Native Trees

Here are our top ten British native trees for you.  You can use our Plant Filter  to select your choice by height, growth rate and soil type.

  1. Alder (Alnus glutinosa)
  2. Green beech (Fagus sylvatica)
  3. English Oak (Quercus robur)
  4. Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)
  5. Hazel (Corylus avellana)
  6. Holly (Ilex aquifolium)
  7. Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia)
  8. Silver Birch (Betula pendula)
  9. Small-leaved Lime (Tilia cordata)
  10. Willow (Salix)

There’s no time like the present to plan your Autumn planting – you can pre-order your bare root plants, ready for the Winter and save 15%.

Please refer to our FAQ’s and Advice page if you need any other planting hints and tips.

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2 Responses to “Top 10 British Native Trees: Keeping natural beauty and wildlife”

  1. Karen Conn-White says:

    I wonder if you could advise on the best trees to cover 6′ fencing. I do not want them growing much above the 6′ height and ideally I am looking to plant native varieties.

    Thank you so much.

    Best Regards
    Karen Conn-Whit

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