These are some of the native trees the Woodland Trust say you should plant

Planting trees and plants that are native to the UK in your garden is a great way to give both food and shelter to the local wildlife as well as seasonal flowers across the year. Here are some of the best garden trees that the Woodland Trust recommend:


You will get cone-like clusters of fruit that hang like trinkets in the bare winter trees. In spring, the yellow catkins appear next to the shiny, round leaves.

Height: 18-25m. Good for small gardens.

The estimated rate of growth: 60cm or more per year.

Soil conditions: it can grow in most conditions and soil, especially moist areas. On dry land can be grown as bushes.

Why wildlife like: alder catkins provide the initial source of nectar and pollen for bees, and the seeds are eaten by siskin, goldfinch and redpoll birds.

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Silver birch

Silver birch is a beautiful tree with light foliage and a unique silvery white skin. It has triangle-shaped leaves on elegant bowing branches which become yellow and then golden in autumn, bringing a striking colour to your garden.

Height: grow about 15-20 meters, although older, mature trees can grow higher.

Estimated growth rate: 40 cm per year.

Soil conditions: silver birch prefers sandy soils or acidic although it can grow in most conditions. Silver birch is a great addition to the garden when planted as a specimen tree.

Why wildlife liked: small birds, such as siskin, greenfinches and redpolls are attracted by the abundant seeds and insects. Get help with your trees from a Bournemouth Tree Surgeon like


Blackthorn has traditionally been associated with witchcraft, it is said that witches made using wooden sticks blackthorn. This thorny tree is an excellent choice for hedge shrubs, providing interest throughout the year. Producing white flowers during early spring and purple-black fruits (sloe) at the end of summer. Select sloe berries after the first frost in the autumn and use them to create your own sloe gin.

Height: 6-7 meters maximum, and very good as a hedge plant.

Estimated growth rate: 40-60cm per year.

Soil conditions: grow best in moist, well-drained soil and thrives in full sun.

Why wildlife love: blackthorn provides a valuable source of nectar and pollen for the bees in the spring. The leaves are food for caterpillars and many moths, such as the yellow-tailed, emerald, common, magpie and janitor. Birds will often nest in the dense thickets.

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Bird cherry

In addition to its attractive spiky flowers, bird cherry is also beautiful for autumn leaves and beautiful golden yellow skin. This neat tree does not produce many new shoots at the base. Be careful because this species can grow tall.

Height: 7-25m. Good for small gardens.

Estimated growth rate: 20-40cm per year.

Soil conditions: ideal conditions include limestone soils but will also take to poor soil. Needs to fully face the sun in order to flower.

Good for wildlife because:  the bitter dark red cherries are eaten by birds, including song thrushes, blackbirds, badgers and rats.

Spikes of white flowers mean the bird cherry in Yorkshire is nicknamed ‘wild lilac’.


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