Different Types of Trees – Small Gardens to Big Forests

As tree surgeons, you can imagine that in our day-to-day work we come across a huge variety of trees. From big, wild native trees, to little ornamental ones there’s no shortage of species to keep our work interesting. In this blog, we’d like to explore a few of the more common ones. Hopefully this will give you a nice idea of the sorts of trees you might find in your back garden. But don’t forget, there’s more to trees than just Oak, and we love taking care of the stranger sorts too!

Common Oak (Quercus robur)

Common oak can be found throughout Western Europe but is by far the most common tree in the UK. Oak trees are home to lots of insects and animals and can grow up to 40 metres tall. Their seeds are acorns, a popular food amongst lots of animals such as squirrels and jays. The widest oak in Britain is the Majesty Oak with a circumference of 12.2 metres. One of the most famous, though, is Major Oak, where legend says Robin Hood used to take shelter.

Field Maple (Acer campestre)

Field maple is native to much of Europe as well as southwest Asia and North Africa. It’s often grown as an ornamental tree in parks and gardens and has been introduced to some parts of America and Australia. The wood of maple is white and strong and is often used for furniture and musical instruments. Maple is also a fairly popular plant among bonsai enthusiasts.

Common Ash (Fraxinus excelsior)

Common Ash is another tree native to mainland Europe and Great Britain. Ash is very resilient, grows quickly and its wood is versatile, historically making it very useful to smallholders and farmers. While not as resistant to rot as oak, its wood is flexible and shock-resistant, often being used for tool handles.

Common Beech (Fagus Sylvatica)

Beech trees are very large and can reach up to 50 metres tall. They’ve historically been considered native to southern England, but recent evidence suggests they weren’t brought here until the stone age. Like maple, they’re often used as an ornamental tree in parks and gardens, being frequently clipped to make attractive hedges. Beech is dominant in woodlands from North Suffolk to Cardigan, with oak overtaking it from there. Common beech is one of the best woods for fireplaces.

Trees for small gardens

We’ve gone through just a few of the most common UK trees, but lets have quick rundown of a few species you might want for a smaller garden.

Crab Apple – Crab Apples are compact ornamental trees that blossom in spring and provide colourful fruit in autumn that can last through Winter.
Rowan – There are a few cultivars in the Sorbus species. Some provide pink berries, some yellow, and some have a purple autumn colour.
Japanese maple – Japan has cultivated these for centuries and they first arrived in Britain in 1820. They grow slowly and have a blazing autumn colour.

These are just some of the most common tree types you might come across, but there are loads out there. We’re experienced with all different kinds, no matter how common or rare. If you need your tree taken care of we’re more than happy to help you out!