Tree Spotting: How to Identify British Trees

The British countryside is beautiful and unique, and much of this is down to our diverse range of native trees. With National Tree Week coming up it’s time to turn our attention to caring for the future of our British Trees. If you are thinking of planting a tree for National Tree Week, it’s useful to be aware of what to expect when the tree grows so you can make an informed and appropriate decision about what to plant and where to plant it.

Each type of tree has its own appearance, maximum growth height, produces certain fruits, nuts or berries, and has its own specific method of pollination. Understanding these will ensure that you make the right choice for the environment you are planting in. Trees are ‘the lungs of the planet’ and in the UK we have already fallen behind on planting new trees to replace large Victorian Era canopy trees like the English Oak, Ask and Silver Birch, that are now coming towards the end of their lifecycle. Replacing these is particularly important especially in urban areas, as trees can help to improve air quality.

Even if you’re not planting this Tree Week, it’s useful to get to know your trees. All trees have unique features that identify them, and understanding what these are can be exciting. Tree spotting is a fun and educational outdoor activity to share with children, so take them on an exploring trip to identify trees in a local park, woodland or nature trail. A little knowledge can help the next generation to appreciate and celebrate our natural surroundings, and in turn help to protect and renew it when they grow older.

Trees produce oxygen, control noise pollution, clean the soil, clean the air, produce shade and solace and make our environment scenic and picturesque.  In a nutshell (no pun intended), trees are essential to life as we know it. Make sure you take the time to learn about them so you can care for them. It is possible to identify trees by their leaves alone, but other factors like the height, berries, flowers and nuts can add to the picture for a more accurate identification.

Our useful guide will help you to process these factors so you can understand the difference between a birch and an oak tree, an elm or a willow. Take a look below or get the PDF here and begin to understand more about your British Trees.

how to identify British trees

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