Native British Trees
What is a Native tree?
Native trees are species that have grown in a country or region for thousands of years, evolving along with the wildlife that exists there and adapting to the area’s environmental conditions. Simply put, if you plant one of these in England, Scotland, Ireland or Wales, it’ll fit right in!
Why should I plant Native trees?
Native trees know how to deal with the conditions in the UK - they’ve evolved with the British weather and it doesn’t phase them. This gives them a better chance of success in colder or wetter areas. The same goes for pests and diseases - you’ll notice that most native trees have excellent resistance and this is also down to thousands of years of adaptation.
Native trees for wildlife
Perhaps 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.
Which trees are native to the UK?
Some examples of UK native trees are Oak, Birch, Blackthorn, Beech, Hawthorn, Elder, Box (or Buxus), Crabapple, Hazel, Holly, Lime, Elm, Hornbeam, Scots Pine, Rowan, Whitebeam, Willow and Yew. Native fruit trees include Cherry, Apple, Pear, Plum, Damson, Medlar, Gage and Mulberry.