Sunlight through trees

Trees in the nation's forests

Leaves or needles, cones or nuts? Every tree is special, whether they're native to the UK or planted for the properties of their wood. Conifers are fast growing, often with cones and most are evergreen. They generally produce lighter wood, called softwood, which is easily renewable. Conifers make up the largest group of trees we grow for timber. In comparison, broadleaves are slower growing, with most losing their leaves in the winter. They make up some of our most ancient and nature-rich woodlands. Broadleaves produce dense and strong wood, known as hardwood. ​​​​​​​From slender pines to ancient oaks, learn how to recognise the most common trees in the nation's forests and discover their varied uses.

Conifer tree species

Close-up of needles on a Douglas fir branch

Learn about the tallest tree in the country.

A group of Corsican pine trees, looking upwards into the canopy.

Find out about this variety of black pine tree.

Close-up of Lodgepole pine needles and flowers

Learn about this hardy tree, native to North America.

Cones hanging from tree

Discover facts and figures about this traditional Christmas tree.

Close-up of needles on a Sitka spruce

Discover Sitka, which provides most of timber used in this country.

Close-up of cones on a hybrid larch

Find out the origins of this colour-changing conifer.

Close-up of needles on a Noble fir tree

Find out more about this handsome blue-grey fir tree.

Close-up of needles on a Western Hemlock showing buds and cones

This tree is one of the most common conifers in the country.

Close up of red yew berries on the tree branch

Learn about the yew tree, one of the oldest living trees in the country.

Close-up of a cluster of brown cones from a Scots pine

Discover more about this valuable pine tree.

Broadleaf tree species

Ash leaves shown in full bloom

Learn more about this widespread native tree.

Beech tree leaves close up

Discover the 'Lady of the Woods' and what it's used for.

Close-up of hazel branches and full leaves in dappled sunlight

Find out about this tree, ideal for coppicing.

Close up of a single oak leaf

Learn more about the mighty oak, one of our most loved trees.

Sweet chestnut fruit and catkins

Discover the sweet chestnut tree, from what it looks like to its many uses.

Close-up of leaves on small-leaved lime tree

Learn about the small-leaved lime, whose timber is ideal for intricate carving.

Close-up of the white flowers on a wild cherry branch, against a blue sky.

Find out about the wild cherry tree, loved for its colourful blossom.

Close-up of rowan branch showing leaves and flowers against a pale sky.

Discover top facts about the rowan tree, also known as the 'mountain ash'.

Close-up of a yellow, autumnal sycamore leaf

Learn more about the sycamore tree, well known for its 'helicopter' seeds.

A close-up of a stand of silver birch trees

Find out about the silver birch and learn how to recognise it.

Photo shows someone holding two ash leaves. The one of the left has seven green leaflets that form the overall leaf. The one on the right is a similar form leaf but is brown and wilted, which is a clear indication of ash dieback disease.

Protecting trees from pests and diseases

Pests and diseases can cause widespread impacts on forests. Discover how we're safeguarding trees and protecting their future.