Tips for a Successful Tree Planting Project

Tips for a Successful Tree Planting Project

In the year 2022, tree planting projects in the UK faced significant challenges due to severe drought conditions. However, at Tips Tree Planting, we are proud to share that our projects, which involved the use of suitable native species and proper planting techniques, have thrived. We understand the importance of implementing a successful tree planting scheme, and in this article, we will provide you with valuable tips to help you with your own project.

1. Plant Trees at the Right Time

2. Secure Funding through Woodland Grants

If you’re considering a tree planting project, securing funding through woodland grants can greatly support your endeavor. Various grants are available, and eligibility is determined by several factors. Generally, a broadleaved woodland of at least 2 hectares (5 acres) is the minimum requirement. Smaller plots, especially those that are publicly accessible, may also be eligible.

If you are unsure about the grants you qualify for and need further advice, feel free to reach out to us at Tips Tree Planting. We can assess your eligibility over the phone and provide guidance on the optimal timing for your application, whether it be for the next planting season or the current season.

While there are capital grants available from public bodies, charities, and private organizations, some grants come with restrictions that may limit your ability to change the land use for a certain period of time. If this doesn’t align with your goals, you may prefer sourcing cost-effective native trees from reputable organizations like Celtic Wildflowers Ltd or Habitat Aid.

3. Source Trees from the UK

When planting a woodland, it is essential to use smaller trees called ‘whips,’ which are less than 1m in height. This choice enhances their resilience against environmental extremes. Additionally, it is crucial to source all trees from the UK to ensure their suitability to our climate and prevent the introduction of pests and diseases. Not only is this approach cost-effective, but it also facilitates quicker and easier establishment, which is supported by local authorities.

As tree planting projects should be considered long-term endeavors, it is vital to select species that can withstand the expected future climatic conditions. This doesn’t mean incorporating foreign species but rather choosing native species adapted to the anticipated changes in the climate.

4. Protect Young Trees

When planning your planting scheme, it is crucial to consider factors that could affect the establishment of trees, such as weed growth, deer grazing, and rabbit grazing. At Tips Tree Planting, we offer a wide range of tree shelters alongside our tree planting projects. These biodegradable options, tailored to your specific site, not only protect young trees but also create a localized microclimate that aids in growth during the crucial first year.

For larger sites, alternative methods like deer fencing may be more cost-effective. However, we generally advise against additional fencing due to the potential unintended consequences it may have on ecosystem functioning and animal movement. Instead, brash protection using thorny bush cuttings can be scattered over new trees to safeguard them from deer browsing pressure.

5. Don’t Forget Site Maintenance

Throughout the lifespan of your woodland, site maintenance is necessary to ensure the remaining trees receive the space, light, and nutrients they need. Thinning the trees is often required, and the products generated from this process can provide income and even serve as a source of free, green energy in the form of firewood.

After planting the trees, weed control options should be considered. Spot spraying around the base of the trees can minimize competition for water and nutrients during their early growth phase. Growth suppression mats are also available and can provide similar benefits. At Tips Tree Planting, we offer a range of organic weed control systems. If you have used tree shelters or tubes, it is essential to plan for their removal, typically after approximately 5 years.

Apart from woodland creation, we can also assist with managing harvesting operations and restocking. Grants are available to help cover the associated costs. Coppicing, a beneficial form of site management, not only generates timber products but also contributes to an increase in biodiversity.

6. Choose the Right Planting Mix

An appropriate planting plan takes into account various factors, such as the site’s landscape, soil type, moisture levels, rainfall, local biodiversity, and deer browsing pressure. Different habitats require different tree species. For example, river-edge habitats are suitable for Alder and Willow, degraded fields for Field Elm and Black Poplar, and sloping valley sides for Oak and Spindle Tree. Additionally, there are trees that thrive in woodland edges, while others prefer closed-canopy woodland.

Accounting for all these factors can be challenging, which is why many projects experience a significant loss of saplings in the first year. At Tips Tree Planting, our goal is to achieve a loss rate of only 5-10% in the first year. We provide a biodiverse mix of species that supports a thriving wildlife community. If you are interested in learning more about our tree planting advisory services, please visit our website.

To find a comprehensive list of native tree species, we have compiled the top 50 most common UK trees for your reference.

At Tips Tree Planting, we have the expertise and experience to help you implement a successful tree planting project. By following these tips and utilizing our guidance, you can create a thriving woodland that benefits the environment and supports local biodiversity. For more information, visit Tips Tree Planting today!