Native Trees

'Native Trees' are defined as those trees that colonised the British Isles after the end of last ice age and before the British Isles were cut off from the rest of Europe, by the rising sea levels.

The British Isles, for this purpose, include both Ireland and Britain. Ice covered most of the British Isles and the remainder of the land was frozen and devoid of tree life with the one possible exception of the Strawberry Tree in South West Ireland.

As the ice retreated, some 10,000 years ago, the land was colonised, initially by Birch, some of the Willows and Scots Pine, then by Hazel, Holly and Ash, with the last arrivals being Beech, Field Maple and Hornbeam.

There are generally accepted to be 33 native trees and, of these, 5 are evergreen including 3 conifers. They are, in alphabetical order:

  • Alder
  • Ash
  • Aspen
  • Bay Willow
  • Beech
  • Bird Cherry
  • Black Poplar
  • Box
  • Common Oak
  • Crab Apple
  • Crack Willow
  • Downy Birch
  • Field Maple
  • Goat Willow
  • Hawthorn
  • Hazel
  • Holly
  • Hornbeam
  • Juniper
  • Large Leaved Lime
  • Midland Thorn
  • Rowan
  • Scots Pine
  • Sessile Oak
  • Silver Birch
  • Small Leaved Lime
  • Strawberry Tree
  • Whitebeam
  • White Willow
  • Wild Cherry
  • Wild Service Tree
  • Wych Elm
  • Yew