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Picking a Tree? Choose Native

Picking a Tree? Choose Native

- THE BEST CHOICE FOR WILDLIFE



With a greater emphasis on sustainable and more natural methods of gardening recently, we hear often that we should be planting native trees - but what does ‘native’ mean? Why are they a good choice for your garden and are they really so much better for wildlife? So we did some research into the trees native to this country - we knew they were pretty great, but even we were surprised at the results.

What is a native tree?

When we call a tree ‘native’ we mean that it’s a species that has existed in a country or a region for thousands of years - enough time for it to evolve alongside the wildlife that exists there and to adapt to the area’s natural climate and conditions. A UK native tree is one that has grown naturally in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales for this period of time.

Native trees are low maintenance

Native trees are amongst the easiest trees to care for - why? Because they have evolved to deal with UK weather conditions and nothing phases them! They’re ideally suited to grow in the soils and altitudes of the British Isles, and have a better chance of success in colder and wetter parts of the country than many non-native species. Hundreds or even thousands of years of adaptation have also given these trees high resistance to our pests and diseases, meaning that typically, native trees are unbothered by these and tend to live longer.

Native trees for wildlife

The biggest reason to plant native trees is their importance to wildlife. Animal, bird and insect species have co-evolved to feed on the trees they live with, adapting to the tree’s defences. They’re not equipped to feed on trees they haven’t encountered before - it would take them millennia to adapt! This is why you’ll always see more wildlife around native trees.

As an example, an English Oak tree supports 284 different insect species, compared with a Larch or Sycamore originating from elsewhere in Europe which will support around 15. Planting a native tree might be the best thing you can do for your local environment - in the next section discover some of the most common native trees and and find out which species you could be attracting to your garden.


SILVER BIRCH

Birds inc. woodpeckers

Small mammals

229 insect species

CRABAPPLE

Birds inc. blackbirds & thrushes

Voles, foxes, badgers

Over 90 insect species inc bees

Moth caterpillars

HAWTHORN

Bees

Birds inc. fieldfares & redwings

Moths inc. brimstone & oak eggar

149 insect species

HAZEL

Bees

Birds inc. fieldfares & redwings

Moths inc. brimstone & oak eggar

149 insect species

ENGLISH OAK

Bees

Birds inc. fieldfares & redwings

Moths inc. brimstone & oak eggar

149 insect species

ROWAN

Bees

Birds inc. fieldfares & redwings

Moths inc. brimstone & oak eggar

149 insect species

Which trees are native to the UK?

UK native trees include Oak, Birch, Blackthorn, Beech, Hawthorn, Elder, Box (or Buxus), Crabapple, Hazel, Holly, Lime, Elm, Hornbeam, Scots Pine, Rowan, Whitebeam, Willow and Yew.

Find our native tree collection here.

Native fruit trees include Cherry, Apple, Pear, Plum, Damson, Medlar, Gage and Mulberry.

See our fruit tree collections here.


Shop Native Trees

Corkscrew Hazel | Corylus avellana 'Contorta' Ornamental Trees

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