It’s National Tree Week in the UK later this month, when people are encouraged to get out and enjoy the trees in their local green spaces - and do their bit to boost tree numbers by planting their own in their gardens or as part of a community project.
National Tree Week is the biggest annual tree celebration in the UK and was first held in 1975 by the charity, The Tree Council, which still organises the event. This year, it’s on 23 November to 1 December.
November to March is the best time to plant trees, because the wetter weather means they don’t need so much watering and they’ve got more chance of surviving and growing.
So, which native trees should we be planting? Here are seven iconic trees that will bring colour and biodiversity benefits for years to come.
English Oak - The mighty oak provides a wonderful home for insects and can live for hundreds of years.
Alder - Another biodiversity powerhouse, attracting insects and birds, the alder is also a fast grower.
Rowan - The Rowan’s leaves and bright red berries are a real treat for our birds and insects and they bring a welcome dash of colour, too.
Silver birch - With its striking white bark, the silver birch is a real eye-catcher. It’s also fast-growing, so will make a rapid impact.
Hawthorn - Providing wonderful white flowers in Spring and health-enhancing berries, the hawthorn is another native tree that’s much loved by insects and birds.
Hazel - With their eye-catching ‘lamb’s tail’ catkins and supply of nutritious nuts, this is another tree that species such as dormice just love.
Holly - A festive favourite with their red berries, holly trees provide excellent shelter for birds and hedgehogs. And they can live for up to 300 years.
The UK has lost millions of trees in recent years and must now plant 1.5 billion trees by 2050 in order to reach the net zero emissions target. Your native tree might only seem like a very small start, but you know what they say about little acorns …