How to Implement Successful Tree Planting Projects

Posted by Julian Burchby on 5/01/2011


Tree planting has been difficult in 2010 due to the hard frosts and snow but here at Ecosulis we are gearing up for the final few weeks of the tree planting season.  With the Christmas festivities over it is now time to implement that tree planting project, whether it be a few larger trees or a large scale woodland planting scheme. We can design, supply, plant and maintain trees, making the whole project as straightforward and cost effective as possible.  

Planting now ensures the young trees get time to settle in before that all important first growing season begins, although it is worth keeping in mind that if the cold weather continues it may be possible to plant much later than normal!

Tree Planting / Woodland Grants

There are a range of grants available and eligibility is assessed on several factors but generally speaking the minimum requirements are that you have a broadleaved woodland of at least 2 hectares (5 acres).  If you are not sure, give us a call because we can advise if you are likely to be eligible over the phone. We can also advise if you should apply during 2011 ready for planting in the next planting season, or if there is still time to complete the planting this season.  

There are a range of capital grants, plus annual payments for up to 15 years.  Up to 40% of the site can be left unplanted as open ground for access, features such as ponds and this still receives full grant aid. 

Some people prefer the instant impact of planting standard trees and semi mature trees, as an avenue or create a ‘parkland’ effect with trees, suitably secured and guarded against livestock.  If a traditional woodland is being planted we recommend using smaller trees, known as whips, which are under 1m in height.  All transplants are UK provenance and can be supplied as local provenance where required.  This is both cost effective, ensures quicker and easier establishment and is supported by local authorities.  

Tree planting should be considered as a long term project with the woodland hopefully being planned in perpetuity and as such it is crucial to include species that will cope with the inevitable changes in climate during that period.  

Tree Shelters

When planning a planting scheme it is vital to consider those factors that could have an effect on tree establishment such as weeds, deer grazing and rabbit grazing.  We can supply a wide range of tree shelters from Tubex and Acorn tailored to your specific site.  Tree shelters have the added benefit of creating a localized micro climate, helping with growth in the first year.  For larger sites (for example, some of our projects are up to 300ha and require extensive planting), other methods may be more cost effective, such as deer fencing.

Tree Maintenance

During the lifetime of the woodland it is necessary to thin the trees to ensure the remaining trees get the space and light they need and the products generated provide income and in many cases a source of free, green energy in the form of firewood for the ever increasing methods of heating your home.

Once the trees are planted then spot spraying around the base ensures the tree has minimal competition for water and nutrients is essential, and this is  generally done for 2-3 years with other operations being replacements of any dead trees and management of open space.  As well as the herbicide methods generally used we can supply a range of organic weed control systems.

As well as woodland creation we can also manage a harvesting operation and the restocking, again with grants being available to help with the costs. 

Other Benefits


One significant benefit of planting trees is that they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in a process known as carbon sequestration and the benefits of tree planting are now recognised as a way of combating climate change, at the same time as providing all of the other associated benefits. 

We also have in house ecological consultants who can advise on what is already present on your site and ensure that any tree planting proposals maximise biodiversity in accordance with Planning Policy Statement 9 and Biodiversity Action Plans for example.

If any of the above is of interest please give us a call to discuss your requirements.