Native Trees are those species which colonised our islands after the last Ice Age and before humans started to move seed and plants around. There are some species, such as Sycamore, which arrived due to human interaction but which grow as if they had evolved to be here: as honorary natives, they are often called ‘naturalised’ species. However, there is a set list of which species are considered to be native and you can apply a filter to our tree finder and availability list, although you should be aware that Beech is only considered native as far north as Yorkshire and Scots Pine is only considered native as far south as Perthshire.
It is assumed that trees growing in an area will have adapted to local conditions, therefore when planting native trees plants grown from local seed should be used and this is often a condition of receiving Government grant aid for planting trees. The map below shows how the country has been divided into seed zones so that the appropriate seed can be used. We stock a range of seeds of native provenance, so please outline your requirements when ordering; matching within the 10/20/30/40 zones is normally considered to be acceptable and in England there are some recommendations to plant from southerly zones in order to prepare for climate change, but this idea is not yet widely accepted within the scientific community.
The site, and in particular the soil, should determine what type of native trees are most appropriate and this is where the services of a professional forester are invaluable. Our tree finder can give you an indication of the sorts of species which may be appropriate.
Native Scots Pine
Planting of native Scots pine must be in accordance with the Caledonian Pinewood Inventory, which separates Scotland into zones specifically for biochemical differences between remnant stands of the Ancient Caledonian Pinewood. Alba Trees is one of the largest growers of Scots pine in the UK and we can advise on the most appropriate stand for you. Please contact us for more information.