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Where to plant

The trick to successful planting is good planning.

Planting a single tree

If you’re planting a single tree think about where you’re planting it in relation to your house or any other buildings. Some roots and branches may spread beyond the boundaries of your property and trees can sometimes cause structural damage. Be aware of places where limbs may fall or roots might grow.

Planting a wood

If you’re planting lots of trees, think about these questions before you begin:

What do you want from your trees?

Check out our advice on choosing the right trees for you

Do you own the land you want to plant on?

If not, you will need to get full permission from the owner.

Is your land suitable? There are some places you mustn’t plant trees, such as:

  • archaeological sites
  • sites with rare or protected species
  • grassland that has never been ploughed
  • wetlands
  • heathland.

How much land do you want to plant?

If your project is under 2ha and in a low risk area (as defined on the guidance page) then planning permission is not required.

If your project is in a low risk area and between 2ha and 5ha, you will need to go through the Basic Notification process with the Forestry Commission.

If your project is in a Sensitive Area you will need to complete an EIA Enquiry Form and Screening process with the Forestry Commission; this is irrespective of its size except in an National Park or AONB where the 2ha limit applies.

Are there any features you want to make the most of?

This could include existing features, for example views or ponds, or ones you want to create, like open glades, orchards or copses of special trees. Establishing this will help you design the planting plan.

How will you access your trees?

Can you walk around the site or do you need access for a vehicle (important if you are planning to coppice or harvest the trees)? This will help you work out where to include management rides and access points.

Are you offering public access?

If so, think about where you want people to walk and which areas need rides, paths or even bridleways to accommodate this.

Any potential risks?

Are there overhead power lines or underground services on your site? Rabbits or deer are also a hazard as they enjoy nibbling away at young trees and can kill them. If you have them on site, you will need tree guards to protect your trees while they establish.