6 Tree Species for UK Gardens

Why Native Trees?

Native trees are a vital part of the UK’s natural environment. They provide homes and food for many animals and insects. Planting native trees helps protect these species and keeps our ecosystems healthy. These trees are also well-suited to the local climate and soil, making them easier to care for compared to non-native trees.

When to Plant Trees in the UK

The best time to plant trees in the UK is from late autumn to early spring (November to March). During this period, trees are dormant, meaning they are not actively growing. This helps them establish their roots without stress. Avoid planting when the ground is frozen or during extreme cold spells.

6 Tree Species for UK Gardens

Hazel Tree

The Hazel tree (Corylus avellana) is a fantastic choice for UK gardens due to its numerous benefits. This tree can grow up to 12 metres in height and is known for its rapid growth rate, making it a popular option for creating hedges and adding structure to woodland gardens. 

Hazelnuts ripen on a tree branch in farm garden with sunbeams. Nuts is a good source of dietary fiber, protein and vitamins for healthy weight loss diet. Organic eco hazel growing in home backyard.

Hazel trees thrive in well-drained, fertile soils and can adapt to full sun to partial shade conditions. One of the significant advantages of Hazel trees is their production of edible nuts, which are enjoyed by both humans and wildlife, including squirrels and birds. 

In spring, Hazel trees produce attractive catkins, adding visual interest to the garden. Additionally, these trees provide excellent habitats for various species, supporting biodiversity.

Alder Tree

The Alder tree (Alnus glutinosa) is a robust species that excels in wet conditions, making it ideal for gardens with damp or poorly drained areas. This tree can reach up to 20 metres in height and is known for its fast growth rate. Alder trees can tolerate waterlogged soils and thrive in full sun to partial shade environments. 

One of the key benefits of planting Alder trees is their ability to stabilise riverbanks and improve soil quality through nitrogen fixation. This process involves converting atmospheric nitrogen into a form that plants can use, enriching the soil and benefiting surrounding vegetation. 

Alder trees also support various wildlife, including fish and insects, making them valuable for enhancing garden ecosystems.

Silver Birch Tree

The Silver Birch tree (Betula pendula) is renowned for its distinctive white bark and delicate, airy foliage. This tree can grow up to 25 metres tall and is favoured for its fast growth rate and aesthetic appeal. 

silver brich tree

Silver Birch trees prefer well-drained soils and thrive in full sun, making them suitable for various garden settings. These trees are not only visually striking but also beneficial for wildlife, attracting pollinators and providing habitats for numerous species. The dappled shade created by Silver Birch trees is perfect for planting shade-loving plants underneath, adding layers of interest and biodiversity to the garden.

Blackthorn Tree

The Blackthorn tree (Prunus spinosa) is a hardy shrub known for its beautiful spring blossoms and dark, inky berries. This tree can reach up to 6 metres in height and has a moderate growth rate, making it an excellent choice for hedgerows and naturalistic garden settings. 

Ripening blackthorn berries on a branch with leaves on a  blurred background. Closeup macro image of fresh berries.

Blackthorn trees can grow in a variety of soil conditions and adapt to full sun to partial shade environments. They are particularly valued for their role in creating natural hedges and supporting wildlife. The berries, known as sloes, are used to make sloe gin and other preserves, providing an added benefit for gardeners.

Wild Cherry Tree

The Wild Cherry tree (Prunus avium) is a stunning addition to any garden, known for its vibrant white flowers in spring and delicious summer fruit. This tree can grow up to 30 metres tall and has a moderate to fast growth rate. 

Organic red ripe cherries on a tree branch. Selective focus, macro

Wild Cherry trees prefer well-drained, fertile soils and thrive in full sun conditions. They are highly valued for their ornamental beauty and the cherries they produce, which are enjoyed by both people and wildlife. In addition to their aesthetic and fruit-bearing qualities, Wild Cherry trees provide essential habitats for various species, contributing to the overall health and biodiversity of the garden.

Crab Apple Tree

The Crab Apple tree (Malus sylvestris) is a charming tree that adds visual interest to any garden with its spring blossoms and small, decorative fruits. This tree can grow up to 10 meters in height and has a moderate growth rate. 

Crab Apple Tree

Crab Apple trees prefer well-drained, fertile soils and can adapt to full sun to partial shade conditions. These trees are particularly valued for their ornamental appeal and their ability to provide food for wildlife, including birds and insects. 

The fruits of Crab Apple trees are also used to make jellies and preserves, adding another layer of utility for gardeners. Additionally, Crab Apple trees are excellent pollinators for other apple varieties, enhancing fruit production in the garden.

FAQs

Are sycamore trees native to the UK?

No, sycamore trees (Acer pseudoplatanus) are not native to the UK. They were introduced from Europe.

Are ash trees native to the UK?

Yes, ash trees (Fraxinus excelsior) are native to the UK.

Are beech trees native to the UK?

Yes, beech trees (Fagus sylvatica) are native to southern England.

Are cherry trees native to the UK?

Yes, Wild Cherry trees (Prunus avium) are native to the UK.

Are horse chestnut trees native to the UK?

No, horse chestnut trees (Aesculus hippocastanum) are not native to the UK. They come from the Balkans.

Are lime trees native to the UK?

Yes, lime trees (Tilia spp.) are native to the UK.

Are oak trees native to the UK?

Yes, English Oak (Quercus robur) and Sessile Oak (Quercus petraea) are native to the UK.

Are pine trees native to the UK?

Yes, Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris) is native to the UK.

Are silver birch trees native to the UK?

Yes, Silver Birch trees (Betula pendula) are native to the UK.

Are walnut trees native to the UK?

No, walnut trees (Juglans regia) are not native to the UK. They were introduced from Europe.

How many native tree species are there in the UK?

There are about 32 native tree species in the UK.

What trees are native to the UK?

Native trees in the UK include English Oak, Scots Pine, Silver Birch, Hazel, and Wild Cherry, among others.

Planting native trees helps protect the UK’s natural heritage and keeps your garden healthy. Whether you choose Hazel, Alder, Silver Birch, Blackthorn, Wild Cherry, or Crab Apple, these trees will enrich your garden and contribute to a healthy ecosystem! 

Contact our team for a free quote on the tree planting service and start enhancing your garden today!