Set out your objectives for what you want from your trees. Do you want to provide commercial crops, fuel supply, sport, biodiversity, or landscape improvement?
Assess available land
- What type of land are you planning to plant on and what type of woodland would be suitable? Our guide to small woodland creation looks at suitable woodland for different land types.
- Determine the size of land available and how many trees you want to plant.
Choose your trees
Choose the right species for the area you want to plant in. Have a look at what trees already exist in the surrounding area and seek advice.
What you want from your woodland will drive which trees you choose. Factor in their growth rate and the size of the trees. Think about the visual impact your woodland will have, e.g. native species versus productive conifers.
Factors to consider:
- future access;
- deer and rabbits;
- environmental impact;
- creation costs;
- maintenance costs;
- you might need an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) may for larger schemes;
- keep in mind what the site will look like in the short term and long term; and
- there is help and advice available when designing your woodlands.
- Tree planting is usually carried out between October and March, avoiding frost and snow.
The Woodland Trust provide help and support for planting trees.
Access and maintenance
- think about how you will access the planted trees;
- plan your maintenance at the design stage as it can minimise tree losses;
- the first five years are critical and saplings are at their most vulnerable. After this, the canopy will shade the ground and reduce competition from other plants. Trees will also become less susceptible to pests; and
- trees need to be pruned from about 2 years old if you want to produce quality timber. Pruning trees early also helps avoid heavy branches that could damage farm vehicles.
- Scottish Forestry’s guide to small woodland creation