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Planting and Establishing My Woodland

This is the most important period in the life of a woodland. Very young trees have a challenging first few years in front of them, but by following a series of simple steps your trees should be on their way into creating a woodland within 5 to 10 years.

  • Create a management plan that demonstrates that you will be meeting the UKFS. Decide the objectives you want to deliver from your woodland. Remember that a woodland can deliver multiple objectives and that timber production does not exclude creating a woodland that is rich in biodiversity. Try to think about trees and do not put conifers and broadleaves into seperate silos
  • Select the right trees for your land (dig holes and check your soils). We would recommend that the Ecological Site Classification electronic decision support tool. You will also want to take into account current thinking on climate change adaptation.
  • Check that your species of tree are compatable with each other, are they high forest species?
  • Ensure your trees are protected from mammals that will want to eat them, consider fencing and or tree guards.
  • Source healthy strong trees and plant only as deep as the root collar, ensure roots are well spread out.
  • Plant bare rooted trees when dormant, containerised trees are less time critical and cope better with drought.
  • Plant enough trees to ensure they compete with each other for light and grow straight
  • Consider planting lots of trees (more than 2,500 per hectare), to ensure enough good timber trees for the future.
  • Keep the trees free from weed competition.
  • Replace trees that die.

Forest Research has a comprehensive resource available to help establish and manage your woodland.

"Now let the grass grow through your toes and watch your forest grow" -JW

 Ash saplings at Kelham Bridge,  The National Forest, West Midlands Forest District

Last updated: 31st January 2018