Forestry Commission logo

Other Grants, Tree Planting and Tree Care Advice

Grants

The Big Tree Plant Grant Scheme is now closed to new applications however other funds and support may be available.

The Tree Council runs grants for schools and communities and is offering Big Tree Plant projects the opportunity to join their Community Network and keep in touch with the latest information and timely information about tree care and more planting.

If you are planting a large area, e.g. over 0.5 ha you may be eligible for the English Woodland Grant Scheme.

Trees for Cities can help you with events and bring together funding from businesses.

The Woodland Trust runs a tree pack scheme and helps with woodland planting.

You can always add in your own fundraising. There’s lots of advice on the web – a good start point is http://knowhownonprofit.org/

Getting advice

Six key steps

1) Talk to those in the know. You could:

• become a Tree Warden,
• join a tree group/ organisation
• set up a new tree group

2) Involve local people

• Getting local ‘buy in’ and a sense of ownership.
• Involving local people and specific groups may also be a way to help reduce vandalism
• Think about leafleting or holding an event to explain what you want to do, and invite people to get involved
• Tap into local people’s resource of contacts and skills - You might find a tree expert, or someone with tools or equipment they are happy to bring along
• Talk to an experienced organisation for help and advice

3) Identify your site

• Find out who owns the site. Check they happy for trees to be planted and cared for into the future
• If your local authority has a tree officer talk to them about sites, highways, parks and schools
• Checking with record centres to see if the site is valuable for heritage or wildlife. Make sure that trees are welcome and don’t do damage

4) Choose your trees

• Think before you dig! Don’t just rush out and plant
• Think about the main purpose of the tree. Looks? Wildlife? Fruit? Flowers? (Some can do all these - and much more!)
• Is there space for the tree to grow (branches and roots)
• Talk to your neighbour
• Beware underground pipe and cable runs or planting too close to buildings
• Choose trees that suit the existing character of the area where you live
• Have a look at the trees growing nearby to see what will thrive. Check whether the place where you are planning to plant your trees is it wet or dry, sunny or shady
• Try to choose species that will cope with the current conditions and also the hotter, drier climate predicted for the future
• Avoid unknowingly importing pests and diseases. Choose UK-grown trees from reputable tree nurseries (look for membership of the Horticultural Trades Association HTA), garden centres or other suppliers

5) Planting

• Trees are best planted bare-rooted in winter, when they are dormant (November to February) - Out of this period they are planted from pot-grown stock, usually more expensive and can need lots of watering
• Small trees establish more quickly than large and soon overtake them but in some instances e.g. streets, larger trees are necessary
• Small can usually be slit planted and need no staking though they may need a cane and a guard in some circumstances. These sizes are usually planted in greater numbers though they may need to be thinned out in a few years time if they are too crowded.
• Larger trees at planting (half standards, standards, heavy and extra heavy standards) are more expensive and need much more careful planting -  They often need expensive guards (e.g. on streets and in parks) and take longer to establish and get growing
• Prices vary widely but as a general rule, the bigger the tree, the more it costs
• Think about protection, from people, traffic, machines, rabbits, deer – whatever might damage the tree. Costs range from spiral plastic rabbit guards for a few pence, through tree shelters to welded mesh cages and metal frames at hundreds of pounds each.
• Fight weeds and water loss. Use 50-100mm of mulched organic matter, e.g. woodchip, chipped bark, compost or leaf mould around trees

6) Care for your Trees

• Watering, weeding and checking guards are simple jobs but if forgotten can make life really difficult for the trees
• Weed competition, for water and nutrients is a real problem and hand weeding or mulching needs to be done for the first few years - Don’t be tempted to use a strimmer as this can damage tree bark, weakening growth and allowing infections. Spraying should be done by professionals
• If your trees are vandalised, think about pruning them into shape rather than simply replacing. Formative pruning can select a new upright branch to become a new leader