One of the simplest things you can do to help wildlife and the planet – and if you choose a fruit tree you get free produce too. Trees can provide a bit of shade, shelter or privacy as well as providing food and a home for wildlife. But its worth giving it a bit of thought to ensure you pick the right tree for your space.
Choosing a native tree is a great starting point and there is such a great choice. Think about how big it will get eventually and how much space you have. Fruit trees are a great choice as you can get them in a range of sizes to suit all gardens, they flower which helps support pollinators and then provide fruit for you and your family!
More great advice here woodlandtrust.org.uk/twigged.pdf
Don’t have much space?
Consider dwarf rootstock fruit trees – these can be grown in containers so even a patio area could have one. Some varieties can be grown flat against a wall or fence and take up very little space. Most tree can be pruned or pollarded to control their size and shape.
Native Trees for Small to Medium Gardens
Silver Birch, Rowan, Cherry, Hawthorn, Crab Apple, Hazel or Goat Willow
Larger Native Tree
Oak, Beech, Small leaved lime, Field Maple, Alder, Wild Cherry, Hornbeam, White willow
Avoid planting ash due to ash die back disease.
Flowering Shrubs instead?
If you don’t think you have room for a tree a large flowering shrub will still pull in the wildlife – try a buddleia, pyracantha, viburnum, mahonia, spindle, guelder rose or cotoneaster – all great for pollinators and birds and will add colour to your garden.
When to Plant Your Tree?
The best time of year to plant a tree is when the roots are dormant as they are less easily disturbed by the moving process: typically, from mid-November to late March. Buy a seedling between 60-90 cm tall (a ‘whip’) for the quickest growth rates. Once you have your seedling, you’re ready to get started!
How to Plant
Go to www.bbowt.org.uk/how-plant-tree for an easy to follow guide
Have fun planting your tree and watching it grow. You will be doing your bit to increase tree cover in the UK and helping to tackle climate change. Thank you!