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UK British Native Trees - Trees you will find in British Woodlands

There are thousands of different tree species, hybrids, cultivars and varieties found in the UK. However, according to sources there are only 33 native tree species in the British Isles.

HOLLY (Ilex aquifolium) - It is an evergreen tree growing to 10-25 m tall and 40-80 cm (rarely 1 m or more) trunk diameter, with smooth grey bark. The leaves are 5-12 cm long and 2-6 cm broad, variable in shape; on young plants and low branches, with three to five sharp spines on each side, pointing alternately upward and downward; on higher branches of older trees with few or no spines except for the leaf tip, often entire.

Native Trees like the Holly above are defined as those that were able to migrate to the British Isles from mainland of Europe unaided by man

The period to which this refers is since the last ice age, about 9 to 10,000years ago, and before the land connection with the continental mainland was eroded,about 5,000 years ago. Those species listed below which are classified as native are capitalised.

Peckish Wild Bird Food

There are of course a huge number of trees that have been introduced since that period which have naturalised and colonised area of the UK, these are known as 'exotic' tree species. Some of which are listed below.

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UK British Native Trees - Trees you will find in British Woodlands

Species Index - Native species appear in capitals.

ALDER (Alnus spp) – Common, General, Grey - The best-known species in Europe is the Common or Black Alder (A. glutinosa), native to most of Europe and widely introduced elsewhere. ALDER - Genus: Alnus

Alder Buckthorn (Frangula alnus)

ASH (Fraxinus excelsior) - The ASH - Genus: Fraxinus occurs on a wide range of soil types,but is particularly associated with basic soils on calcareous substrates. The most northerly ash wood in Britain is on limestone at Rassal, Wester Ross, latitude57.4278 N.

ASPEN (Populus tremula) - Populus tremula (Aspen, Common Aspen or Eurasian Aspen to distinguish it from related species) is a specie sof poplar native to cool temperate regions of Europe and Asia, from the British Isles east to Kamchatka, north to inside the Arctic Circle in Scandinavia and northern Russia, and south to central Spain, Turkey, the Tian Shan, North Korea,and northern Japan. It also occurs at one site in northwest Africa in Algeria.In the south of its range, it occurs at high altitudes in mountains

BEECH - Genus: Fagus (Fagus sylvatica) - European Beech is a very popular ornamental tree in parks and large gardens, not only in Europe, but also in North America and New Zealand. Since the early nineteenth century there have been a large number of ornamental cultivars of European Beech made by horticultural selection, often repeatedly; they include: Copper Beech or Purple Beech (Fagus sylvatica -Purpurea Group) - leaves purple, in many selections turning deep spinach green by mid-summer.

Fern-leaf Beech (Fagus sylvatica Heterophylla Group) - leaves deeply serrated to thread-like
Dwarf Beech (Fagus sylvatica Tortuosa Group) - distinctive twisted trunk and branches
Weeping Beech (Fagus sylvatica Pendula Group) - branches pendulous
Dawyck Beech (Fagus sylvatica 'Dawyck') - Fastigiate Beech - fastigiate growth
Golden Beech (Fagus sylvatica 'Zlatia') - leaves golden in spring

BIRCH - Genus: Betula (Betula spp) – Downy and Silver - Birches often form even-aged stands on light, well-drained, particularly acidic soils. They are regarded as pioneer species, rapidly colonising open ground especially in secondary successional sequences following a disturbance or fire. Birches are early tree species to establish in primary successions and can become a threat to heathland if the seedlings and saplings are not suppressed by grazing or periodic burning. Birches are generally lowland species, but some species such as Betula nana have a montane distribution. Birch is used as a food plant by the larvae of a large number of butterflies and moths species.

Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa)

BOX (Buxus sempervirens) - Common Box or European Box; also as Boxwood is a flowering plant in the genus Buxus, native to western and southern Europe,northwest Africa, and southwest Asia, from southern England south to northern Morocco, and east through the northern Mediterranean region to Turkey. It is an evergreen shrub or small tree growing to 1-9 m tall.

Bracken (Pteridium aquilinum)

CHERRIES (Prunus spp) – Bird and Wild or Gean - The flowers are usually white to pink, with five petals and five sepals. They are borne singly, or in umbels of two to six or sometimes more on racemes. The fruit is a drupe or"prune" with a relatively large hard coated "stone". Leaves are simple and usually lanceolate, unlobed and toothed along the margin. Many species produce hydrogen cyanide, usually in their leaves and seeds. This gives a characteristic taste in trace quantities, and becomes bitter in larger quantities.

Chestnuts (Aesculus and Castanea spp) – Horse Chestnut - Genus: Aesculus and Sweet Chestnut - Genus: Castanea

CRAB APPLE (Malus sylvestris) - Malus sylvestris is a species of crabapple, native to Europe from Spain, Italy and Greece to southern Scandinavia and Russia. Its scientific name means forest apple. In the past, it was thought to be an important ancestor of the cultivated apple (Malus domestica), but these are now known to be derived from the central Asian species Malus sieversii. The truly wild tree has thorns and the flowers are hermaphrodite which are pollinated by insects.

Dog Rose (Rosa canina)

ELDER - Common elder (Sambucus nigra) - Sambucus nigra is a species of elder native to most of Europe, northwest Africa and southwest Asia.It is most commonly called just Elder or Elderberry, but also Black Elder, European Elder, European Elderberry, European Black Elderberry, Common Elder, or Elder Bush when distinction from other species of Sambucus is needed. It grows in a variety of conditions including both wet and dry fertile soils, primarily in sunny locations.

ELM - Genus: Ulmus (Ulmus spp) – Wych Elm - Elms are deciduous and semi-deciduous trees comprising the genus Ulmus, family Ulmaceae. Elms first appeared in the Miocene period about 40 million years ago. Originating in central Asia, the tree flourished and established itself over most of the Northern Hemisphere.

Firs (Abies spp)

GORSE (Ulex europaeus) - Ulex europaeus, commonly known as the Common GorseGORSE (Ulex europaeus) - Ulex europaeus, commonly known as the Common Gorse, is an evergreen shrub in the family Fabaceae, native to western Europe from a northerly point of The United Kingdom south to Portugal, and Westerly point of Ireland east to Galiza in Belgium.

It grows to 1-2 m (3-7 ft) tall,rarely 3 m (10 ft). The young stems are green, with the leaves modified into green spines, 1-3 cm (0.4-1.4 in) long. Young seedlings produce normal leaves for the first few months; these are trifoliate, resembling a small clover leaf.The flowers are yellow, 1-2 cm (0.4-0.8 in) long, with the typical pea-flower structure.

Guelder Rose (Viburnum opulus)

HAWTHORN (Crataegus spp) – Common (May tree)HAWTHORN(Crataegus spp) – Common (May tree) and Midland - The name hawthorn was originally applied to the species native to northern Europe, especially the Common Hawthorn C. monogyna, and the unmodified name is often so used in Britain and Ireland. They are shrubs and small trees growing to 5-15 m tall, characterised by their small pome fruit and thorny branches. The bark is smooth grey in young individuals, developing shallow longitudinal fissures with narrow ridges in older trees. The fruits are sometimes known as "haws", from which the name derived. The thorns grow from branches, and are typically 1-3 cm long. The leaves grow spirally arranged on long shoots, and in clusters on spur shoots on the branches or twigs. The leaves themselves have lobed or serrate margins and are somewhat variable shape.

HAZEL (Corylus avellana) - The Common Hazel (Corylus avellana) is a species of hazel native to Europe and western Asia, from the British Isles south to Iberia, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, north to central Scandinavia, and east to the central Ural Mountains, the Caucasus, and northwestern Iran. The Common Hazel is a shrub common in many European woodlands. It is an important component of the hedgerows that were the traditional field boundaries in lowland England. The wood was traditionally grown as coppice, the poles cut being used for wattle-and-daub building and agricultural fencing

HOLLY (Ilex aquifolium) - It is an evergreen tree growing to 10-25 m tall and 40-80 cm (rarely 1 m or more) trunk diameter, with smooth grey bark. The leaves are 5-12 cm long and 2-6 cm broad, variable in shape; on young plants and low branches, with three to five sharp spines on each side, pointing alternately upward and downward; on higher branches of older trees with few or no spines except for the leaf tip, often entire.HOLLY (Ilex aquifolium) - It is an evergreen tree growing to 10-25m tall and 40-80 cm (rarely 1 m or more) trunk diameter, with smooth grey bark. The leaves are 5-12 cm long and 2-6 cm broad, variable in shape; on young plants and low branches, with three to five sharp spines on each side, pointing alternately upward and downward; on higher branches of older trees with few or no spines except for the leaf tip, often entire. The flowers are dioecious, white, four-lobed,and pollinated by bees. The fruit is a red drupe 6-10 mm diameter, containing four pits; although mature in late autumn, they are very bitter so are rarely touched by birds until late winter after frost has made them softer and more palatable. They are slightly poisonous for people.

HORNBEAM (Carpinus betulus) - A small to medium-size tree reaching heights of 15-25 m, rarely 30 m, and often has a fluted and crooked trunk. The bark is smooth and greenish-grey, even in old trees. The buds, unlike those of the beech, are 10 mm long at the most, and pressed close to the twig. The leaves are alternate, 4-9 cm long, with prominent veins giving a distinctive corrugated texture, and a serrated margin. It is monoecious, and the wind pollinated male and female catkins appear in May after the leaves. The fruit is a small 7-8 mm long nut, partially surrounded by a three-pointed leafy involucre 3-4 cm long;it matures in autumn. The seeds often do not germinate till the spring of the second year after sowing. The hornbeam is a prolific seeder and is marked by vigorous natural regeneration.

JUNIPER (Juniperus communis) - It is commonly used in horticulture as an ornamental shrub, but is too small to have any general wood usage. In Scandinavia,however, juniper wood is used for making containers for storing small quantities of dairy products such as butter and cheese, and also for making wooden butter knives. Its astringent blue-black seed cones, commonly known as "juniper berries",are too bitter to eat raw and are usually sold dried and used to flavour meats,sauces, and stuffings. They are generally crushed before use to release their flavour. The cones are used to flavour gin. In fact, the word 'gin' is derived from the French word for juniper berry, genièvre, which is the name forgin in France.

Laburnum (Laburnum spp)

Larch (Larix spp) – European and Japanese

LIME - Genus: Tilia (Tilia spp) – Large Leaved, Small Leaved - The trees are generally called lime in Britain and linden in parts of Europe and North America(where they are also known as basswood).

Tilia species are large deciduous trees, reaching typically 20–40 mt all, with oblique-cordate leaves 6–20 cm across, and are found through the north temperate regions. The exact number of species is subject to considerable uncertainty, as many or most of the species will hybridise readily, both in the wild and in cultivation.

MAPLE - Genus: Acer (Acer spp) – Field, Japanese, Norway and Silver - Acercampestre, common name Field Maple, is a maple native to much of Europe,north to southern England (where it is the only native maple). It is a medium-sized deciduous tree reaching 15-25 m tall, with a trunk up to 1 m diameter, with finely fissured, often somewhat corky bark. The shoots are brown, with dark brown winter buds. The leaves are in opposite pairs, 5-16 cm long (including the 3-9 cm petiole)and 5–10 cm broad, with five blunt, rounded lobes with a smooth margin.

MOUNTAIN ASH - Genus: Sorbus

OAK - Genus: Quercus (Quercus spp) – English, Holm, Sessile and Turkey - Quercus robur (sometimes considered Q. pedunculata) is commonly known as the pedunculate oak or English oak. It is native to most of Europe, and to Asia Minor to the Caucasus, and also to parts of North Africa.

PINE - Genus: Pinus (Pinus spp) – Corsican and Scots - The Scots Pine Pinus sylvestris is a species of pine native to Europe and Asia, ranging from Ireland, Great Britain and Portugal in the west, east to eastern Siberia, south to the Caucasus Mountains, and as far north as Lapland.In the north of its range, it occurs from sea level to 1000 m, while in the south of its range, it is a high altitude mountain tree, growing at 1200-2600 m ASL.

POPLAR - Genus: Populus (Populus spp) – Aspen, Black, Lombardy and White - Populus is a genus of between 25–35 species of deciduous flowering plants in the family Salicaceae, native to most of the Northern Hemisphere. English names variously applied to different species include poplar, aspen, and cottonwood.The genus has a large genetic diversity, and can grow from anywhere between 15–50m tall, with trunks of up to 2.5 m diameter.

Robinia / False Acacia / Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)

ROWAN / MOUNTAIN ASH - Genus: Sorbus (Sorbus aucuparia) - Sorbus aucuparia (Rowan or European Rowan), is a species of the genus Sorbus (subgenus Sorbus), native to most of Europe except for the far south, and northern Asia. In the south of its range in the Mediterranean region it is confined to high altitudes in mountains.It has received many alternative names, the most frequently seen being "Mountain Ash". It is a small to medium-sized deciduous tree typically growing to 8–10m tall, more rarely 20 m, and exceptionally to 28 m.

Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis)

Sorbus (Sorbus spp)

STRAWBERRY TREE (Arbutus unedo) - The Strawberry Tree Arbutus unedo is an evergreen shrub or small tree in the family Ericaceae, native to the Mediterranean region and western Europe north to western France and Ireland.Due to its presence in South West Ireland, it is also known as Irish strawberry tree, and Killarney strawberry tree.

Sweet Chestnut - Genus: Castanea

Sycamore - Genus: Acer (Acer pseudoplatanus)

Tulip (Liriodendron tulipfera)

Western Hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla)

WHITEBEAM (Sorbus aria) - Sorbus aria, the Whitebeam or Common Whitebeam is a deciduous tree, compact and domed, with few upswept branches; it generally favours dry limestone and chalk soils. The hermaphrodite cream-white flowers appear in May, are insect pollinated, and go on to produce scarlet berries, which are often eaten by birds.

WILD SERVICE TREE (Sorbus torminalis) - Sorbus torminalis, sometimes known as the Chequer(s) Tree or Checker(s) Tree,is a species of Sorbus native to Europe from England and Wales east to Denmark and Poland, south to northwest Africa, and southeast to southwest Asia from Asia Minor to the Caucasus and Alborz mountains.

WILLOW - Genus: Salix (Salix spp) – Bay, Crack, Goat, Weeping and White -Willows, sallows and osiers form the genus Salix, around 400 species of deciduous trees and shrubs, found primarily on moist soils in cold and temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Most species are known as willow, but some narrow-leaved shrub species are called osier, and some broader-leaved species are called sallow (the latter name is derived from the Latin word salix, willow).Some willows (particularly arctic and alpine species), are low-growing or creeping shrubs; for example the dwarf willow (Salix herbacea) rarely exceeds 6 cm in height, though spreading widely across the ground.

YEW (Common) - Genus: Taxus (Taxus baccata) - Taxus baccata is a conifer native to western, central and southern Europe, northwest Africa, northern Iran and southwest Asia. It is the tree originally known as yew, though with other related trees becoming known, it may be now known as the common yew, or European yew.

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