oak tree

Native trees and plants help to keep your local ecosystem healthy throughout the year. However, the unfortunate truth is that only 1% of British families can identify the UK’s most common trees, according to research by Unilever. That can be addressed by planting native trees in our gardens. Learning how a tree grows is a great way to get to know the species.


Choosing a native tree means that you know that it thrives in the British weather, which is so often treacherous to more exotic plants. Planting them will help native insects and other animals to survive as well.


Here is a list of our top 5 trees to grow in your garden.


  1. Alder: Planting an alder invites insects and birds to your garden. These trees grow fast and love damp soil. In the winter, catkins and cones dangle from the trees branches. The timber of an alder tree was used to draw woodworms away from cupboards in the home, the woodworm would prefer to munch on the alder than the home-wear.
  2. English Oak: The traditional English oak tree grows all over Britain, so why not have on in your garden? These huge, solid beauties are a great way of attracting insects to your garden, who in turn will help to pollinate your other plants.
  3. Hazel: Hazels grow tasty nuts which you can harvest, as well as share them with squirrels and dormice. Hazels also produce ‘lamb’s tails’ which are fun for children to play with and collect.
  4. Willow: These graceful trees prefer damp places, and suit waterlogged, riverside gardens. They carry with them a fair amount of folklore - the words ‘witch’ and ‘wicked’ come from the same word as ‘willow’.
  5. Holly: There is nothing like harvesting holly from your own garden at Christmas time, and the birds will love taking shelter beneath the leaves and eating the berries.