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Tree pack FAQs

Got a question about our free tree packs? Take a look at our frequently asked questions below. If you can’t find what you’re looking for get in touch via our tree product enquiry form.

1. Who can apply?
2. What are the eligibility criteria?
3. How much room do we need?
4. Can we apply for more than one pack?
5. Which pack(s) should I choose?
6. Can I change the species or number of saplings in my packs?
7. Which packs are good for hedging?
8. Do you supply tree guards to protect the saplings?
9. Why do you use such small saplings?
10. How should we prepare for planting day?
11. How should we plant and care for our trees?
12. When will we know if our application has been successful?
13. Can we amend or cancel our application?
14. How and when will my trees be delivered?
15. How soon after delivery should my trees be planted

Who can apply?

  • Schools across the UK, plus nurseries, colleges, universities and outdoor learning centres
  • All kinds of different groups such as resident associations, sports clubs, parish councils, scouts, guides and many more.

You don’t need to belong to an official organisation. You could even set up a group for the purpose of planting, but you must be not-for-profit. The most important thing is that your group is willing to take on the planning, planting and care of the saplings.

What are the eligibility criteria?

If you’re applying as a school your trees should be planted on either the school grounds, land the school has arranged regular access to or in an area that is publicly accessible.

If you’re applying as a community group, the land needs to be accessible to the public. You should also make sure your local community are aware of your plans to plant and are happy for you to go ahead.

The community involvement needs to be more than just being in sight of a public footpath or an annual open day. We are unlikely to award trees which will be planted on private land such as large gardens or paddocks, unless there is genuine public access.

However, there are other options if you are not eligible for this scheme. You can buy the tree packs, or take advantage of subsidised tree packs and projects such as our larger scale planting schemes.

How much room do we need?

The trees can be planted as copses, groves, avenues, shelter belts, hedgerows and many other ways.

The amount of space you need will differ depending on how you plant your trees.

  • A 30 sapling pack will cover around one tennis court, or create 6-8 metres of double-row hedging
  • A 105 sapling pack will cover 4 tennis courts, or create a double-row hedgerow of 20-25 metres
  • A 420 sapling pack will cover a football pitch, or create a double-row hedgerow of 85-100 metres

Tree Tools for Schools has an excellent planting planner where you can experiment by planting virtual tree packs on your land.

Can we apply for more than one pack?

You can request up to four separate tree packs as long as the total does not exceed 420 trees in each application cycle. If you have a small plot you may only need one small pack.

We have four different pack sizes, 15, 30, 105 and 420. If you would like 420 trees, please apply for the large pack – this is the most efficient way of supplying your trees. 

There is no limit to the number of times you can participate in the scheme.

Please note our 15 sapling urban pack has been specially designed for planters with very limited space, therefore it is not available in conjunction with any other packs. If you select the urban pack you will not be eligible for any other packs.

If you order more than one pack, please be aware that these may be delivered at different times. See How will my trees be delivered?

Which pack(s) should I choose?

The trees in our packs have been selected to grow in a wide variety of site conditions therefore whichever pack you choose should suit your space.

All the packs can be found on our Free Trees page. For more details on each species see our A-Z of native trees.

If you have a particular query about your site conditions you can request further advice at step 5 of your application.

Tree Tools for Schools has an excellent planting planner where you can experiment with different pack choices.

Can I change the species or number of saplings in my packs?

We cannot customise any individual packs. Single trees and more pack types can be purchased through our shop.

Which packs are good for hedging?

Our Hedge pack is perfect for a small project. If you are looking to plant more than 10 metres of hedgerow most of our medium and large packs are suitable.

Packs which contain hazel, hawthorn, elder, crab apple, rowan and blackthorn are good for making hedgerows as they happily produce multiple stems and make a good, thick hedge.

Larger species can also be used in hedges and laid, cut or allowed to grow through.

Do you supply tree guards to protect the saplings?

All packs come with bamboo canes and 60cm spiral guards which protect the young trees from rabbits and other small mammals.

The spirals are stacked inside each other, so don’t worry that we haven’t sent enough!

If you need larger protection, for example to guard against deer, you can find it in our shop.

Why do you use such small saplings?

The saplings are 20-60cm tall. This makes them easy to transport, easy to handle and easy to plant. Saplings this size also establish very quickly and can reach an adult’s head height in around eight years. The saplings can also be self-supporting so they don’t need increasingly large stakes to keep them secure.

How should we prepare for planting day?

Experience and feedback from previous tree pack planters tells us that you should not underestimate this element of your project.

  • Some sites may require weeding or mowing if overgrown. This will also help reduce competition for water, nutrients and light for the young saplings
  • If removing thick vegetation after mowing, rake or scrape the loose vegetation away to expose the ground. Clearing this excess will make the planting easier
  • Mark out where each tree will go using stones, spray paint or canes. You could also paint the tips of the canes to correspond with the species colour codes. These are detailed in the planting instructions booklet you will receive with your trees
  • If the soil is hard, you might want to dig holes before your event

Ensure you have enough people to help you plant:

  • An adult could probably plant between 12 and 20 trees in one hour
  • Aim to plant between one to three trees per child, depending on the age of the children and the condition of the ground

Ensure you have enough tools/equipment: 

  • Gloves and appropriate footwear
  • Spades the right size for any children involved. Small children may find a trowel easier to handle

Remember friends, family and community groups can provide an extra pair of hands and spades!

The planting and care section of Tree Tools for Schools is full of more advice and tips. 

How should we plant and care for our trees?

You will receive planting instructions and care advice with your tree delivery.

The planting and tree care section of Tree Tools for Schools is also packed full of useful advice and guidance.

When will we know if our application has been successful?

We aim to let everyone know within approximately eight weeks of applying.

It is worth checking your junk and/or spam folders if you don’t hear from us – sometimes filters inadvertently re-direct our good news!

Can we amend or cancel our application?

If you need to change anything or cancel your application please email communitytrees@woodlandtrust.org.uk.

If your application is successful you will be sent a deadline date for changes. Once this date has passed we are unable to make any changes or accept cancellations.

Please be aware we can’t tailor or make any bespoke amendments to the packs.

How and when will my trees be delivered?

Your trees will be delivered by FedEx, usually during the first two weeks of November or March. They will need to be signed for so please make sure you select a suitable delivery address that will be occupied during working hours. If nobody is in, the driver will leave a card so that you can re-arrange delivery.

We cannot arrange specific times and dates for your delivery. The tree nursery will email you a link shortly before the delivery date to help you track your parcel.

If your trees do not appear by the end of the delivery period, please get in touch with us as soon as possible so that we can investigate and get your trees to you. Please email communitytrees@woodlandtrust.org.uk.

If you have ordered more than one pack, please be aware that these may be delivered at different times. 

How soon after delivery should my trees be planted?

When your trees are delivered they are ready to go straight into the ground. Don’t plant them in pots or containers.

You do not have to plant them immediately. They can be stored for a few weeks until you are ready to plant, but we do recommend planting them as soon as you can.

Remove the trees from the boxes and store them outside. A garage or outbuilding would be ideal. Keep your saplings upright and sheltered from frost and wind. If the roots look like they are drying out, lightly spray them with water to keep them moist.

If you are organising a planting event we highly recommend planning for the last week in November or March at the earliest. This will allow for any hiccups in the delivery process to be resolved. You can also find some tips on planning a successful tree planting event on the planting and tree care section of Tree Tools for Schools.