The importance of buying UK native trees

Published 19th Jan 2016

Buying UK native trees - for heritage, wildlife and biosecurity

Inspecting stockThe significance of biosecurity has risen up the political and horticultural agendas over recent months, which makes the sourcing, keen selection and healthy planting of new trees ever more important.

Plant material should be sourced from reputable and well-established nurseries - those who adhere to strict traceability regimes in all their production and purchasing methods.  Or, safer still, choose to source and plant UK native trees wherever possible.  

Planting British native trees is beneficial – not only for our landscape heritage and natural beauty, but for the wildlife community, too.  But what defines a “British native tree” and which ones should you choose?  Our team at British Hardwood Trees have pulled together this guide to help you.

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”.  

At British Hardwood Trees, we only supply UK-grown stock, raised from UK seed where available.

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 UK Native Tree Recommendations

This is just a selection from our comprehensive range.  To discuss your UK native tree requirements, please call the British Hardwood Tree Team today on 01673 818443.

  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)




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