A toolkit to help you plan and plant

From experiences in The National Forest

Create a farm woodland
A toolkit to help you plan and plant

Compiled by Hugh Williams The National Forest Company

From experiences in The National Forest


Funding for this guide has been obtained from the National Forest Company, the Forestry Commission and the Leicester Shire Economic Partnership. The preparation and advice provided by Ian Thompson and Chris Wait (both from ADAS) is gratefully acknowledged. Lastly, but most importantly, this guide has been prepared with advice and experience obtained from many landowners who have created and continue to manage their woodlands in The National Forest. © Copyright The National Forest Company www.nationalforest.org First published in 2003 by The National Forest Company, Enterprise Glade, Bath Lane, Moira, Swadlincote, Derbyshire DE12 6BD ISBN 0 85538 464 6 Editing and design: Jenny Claridge, Forest Research, Farnham, Surrey Studio design and printing: Colourgraphic Arts, Bordon, Hampshire

Cover photos: View over just-planted woodland at East Hill, Tatenhill, 1998. Marking out using a spray boom; a redstart; trees establishing in weed-free rows. Photo credits: Christopher Beech, Rob Fraser and Martyn Pitt; Forest Research Photo Library; Forest Life Picture Library Illustrations on pages 22 and 26: John Williams, Forest Research


Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Foreword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Why plant a farm woodland? . . . .Timber production . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Shelter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Screening . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Game cover . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Recreation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Wildlife habitats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Landscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Woodland design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Type of woodland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Woodland layout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tree spacing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tree suitability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 8 8

Planting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .How to plant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Types of trees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 When to plant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Site preparation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Marking out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Types of hand planting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Protection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Weed protection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Protection against animal damage . . . . . . . . . . 26

Maintenance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Keeping the trees growing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Replacing dead trees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Ongoing management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Looking ahead . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Sources of further information and advice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33


Inviting children to help plant new woodland is an excellent and popular way of involving local people. Over 150 local schoolchildren took part in this planting at Chestnut Woodland, Moira.


‘Farmers don’t make foresters’ is one of the many myths that have been shattered by the creation of The National Forest and other community forestry projects throughout the country. In The National Forest, some of our finest young woodlands are now being planted and managed by landowners and managers who have never before even contemplated such an enterprise. Nevertheless, it is not reasonable to expect such newcomers to have immediately to hand all the knowledge, techniques and skills needed to create and look after a new woodland. Whether the primary purpose of woodland is for growing quality timber, for nature conservation or for amenity, good management is both essential and rewarding. A viable market for woodland products is the best driver for this management and that is something we are working towards in The National Forest. But knowledge of best practice is also vital. We have had many pleas from owners considering a woodland scheme, and from those who have already taken the plunge, for a clear, practical manual covering the basics of designing their woodland, getting it well established and its longer-term management. Creating a woodland is a real commitment but enormously satisfying. We hope that this book will provide a helping hand and reassurance.

Susan Bell, OBE Chief Executive, The National Forest Company


The extensive new woods at Grangewood (60 ha) and adjoining Park Farm (82 ha) show the part woodland can play in assisting farm diversification and enhancing the landscape.


All woodland, regardless of where it is located, provides opportunities that far exceed the trees alone. It can help landowners to diversify their landholding and business interests, create commercial and/or amenity benefits and can be linked with work that enhances or creates opportunities for recreation, public access and tourism. The National Forest is creating, through working partnerships and with community participation, a new 200 square mile multi-purpose woodland for the nation in the heart of England. Ultimately 30 million trees will be planted which will cover a third of the Forest area. The National Forest is steadily turning what was once one of the least wooded parts of England into a sustainable forest for the 21st century and beyond. The aim of this book is to provide information for landowners who are thinking about creating new woodland. Although every woodland scheme may have its own set of unique particulars, the extensive experience of landowners within The National Forest has demonstrated that there are robust guidelines that can be applied to most situations. This book draws these guidelines together. For more information on The National Forest contact www.nationalforest.org

Helping you to achieve your woodland
When you decide to create a new woodland first thoughts should be about why you want one. The first section in this book looks at some common objectives for planting a woodland. Having decided on your objectives, you need to design the woodland, thinking about tree species and how the individual trees are laid out. That is also the time to consider future management tasks, such as weeding, because they will influence your decisions. When it comes to planting your wood, there are a number of factors to consider; the middle section of the book looks at various factors, from the choice of young (nursery) stock through to the tools used in planting, to help ensure success. Getting the trees into the ground is a great achievement but only the start of the story. So finally, we look at ways of protecting them from damage (such as browsing), controlling weed competition and maintaining them so that the wood you thought about at the planning stage materialises successfully.


Why plant a farm woodland?
Well before a single tree is planted, it is very important to think about the purpose of the woodland. Your aims will affect what woodland species will be planted and how they will be managed. It is also essential to think of how the woodland will ‘fit’ into the wider context of the landholding. For example: • Will the woodland maximise the non-woodland benefits of the landholding? • Could the woodland provide a setting for other interests such as lakes, caravan parks, game shooting? Factors such as these fundamentally affect the nature of the woodland created and must be given careful and thorough consideration. Seeking early advice is recommended. Sources of further information and advice are provided on pages 33–36.

We need to start somewhere …
There are many reasons for planting woodland. These include: • an educational resource • timber production • formal and informal recreation opportunities • provision of shelter • creating wildlife habitats • screening • creating a landscape feature • game cover

Timber production
Timber production can be for use on the farm, for example fencing posts, or for commercial purposes, or both. Most (70%) of the current national timber demand is for softwood (coniferous trees) but this market is subject to major pressure from imports. The longer-term strategy within The National Forest is to produce high quality timber. The majority of trees (in excess of 80%) planted in The National Forest are hardwoods (broadleaved trees).

Shelter can provide increased productivity for agricultural crops or livestock enterprises through improvements in the local microclimate. Opportunities for new or earlier crop production may be possible. The working or living environment around homesteads or workplaces can be enhanced.


Woodlands can act as a screen to existing or proposed development, reduce traffic noise or protect an area from dust and smells. Creating a woodland as a screen can enhance recreational activities and accommodate high numbers of people while minimising the impact on the local environment.

Game cover
Many existing mature woodlands were originally planted for game cover. Newly planted woodland can provide high value for game and wildlife improvement. A mixed conifer and broadleaved woodland with a significant proportion of woody shrubs usually provides the best game wood. A carefully designed woodland is required to maximise shooting potential. For example, the woodland must not be draughty so good ground cover is required and perimeter hedging could be planted. The positioning and location of glades and rides is also important. Seek specialist advice from organisations such as the Game Conservancy Trust who have a range of helpful information.

Woodlands can provide a wide range of educational opportunities, from a half day tree planting event involving local schools to focused programmes that involve aspects of the national curriculum, university studies or specific arts projects. Woodland tasks such as tree planting, weeding, thinning and use of timber products can provide an opportunity to train volunteers or new entrants to the industry in forest skills. In the wider context the general public often enjoy being involved in woodland projects and can learn a great deal about their local environment.

Tree planting is a great community activity, often involving local schools, and provides an opportunity to learn about and improve the local environment.



From arable fields to fishing lakes in just 1 year.

Beehive Farm at Rosliston is one example of the Woodland recreation can take many way private landowners can use woodland creation forms. Game shooting has already to help in farm diversification. been mentioned, but there are many opportunities that a woodland setting can offer from informal walking to specialist organised events. These may include horse riding, carriage driving, mountain biking, paint balling, motorbike scrambling, four-wheel drive courses, caravan sites, timber cabins, camping, show arenas for specialist events, nature watching and fishing. There are opportunities to make money from all these activities.

Wildlife habitats
Planting woodland creates habitats for a variety of plants and animals. These range from the invertebrates such as beetles and spiders that live on the forest floor to birds and mammals, and from mosses and flowering plants to lichens that will inhabit the mature woodland. Ancient woodland (where there has been continuous woodland cover since at least 1600 AD) is the most diverse woodland habitat. If ancient woodland exists on or adjacent to a site then extending and protecting this feature will be of utmost importance.
Installing boxes for the Noctule bat is one feature of the National Forest’s Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) and is frequently part of new woodland schemes.

The redstart – a BAP species – which likes a mosaic of woodland habitats in which it can feed and nest.

Broadleaved woodland has a greater wildlife value than coniferous (see page 6), but a compromise can be found with the creation of mixed woodland. Shrub and coppice and open ground areas all provide useful wildlife habitats. Woodland schemes make provision for both of these habitats so they should be considered in the design. Indeed, unplanted land can provide great opportunities for wildlife and can add significant value.


Many additional features can be provided within a woodland context. These include open water, wetlands, scrapes, reed beds, coppice, existing riverside trees, ancient hedgerow trees, parkland trees, avenues, reinstating hedgerows, planting of wildflowers and the creation of traditional hay meadows.

Using available information and studying the existing landscape will help determine the scale and type of woodland that may be appropriate. Large-scale woodlands may suit large open arable landscapes whereas discrete woodlands may fit better where small fields create a more intimate setting.
The land around Bagworth in the Midlands Coalfield has seen a significant increase in new woodland. The choice of species can also be influenced by the surroundings. Using natural regeneration in preference to planting should be considered next to existing ancient and semi-natural woodlands. Traditional native species are appropriate next to ancient woodland sites, whereas more exotic species may be considered in a parkland style woodland. In an arable landscape single species plantations can be appropriate.

Mature hedges, boundary trees and church spires, as seen here at Lullington, are important landscape features to consider when planning new woodland.

Maintaining views to and from a woodland are very important, particularly where there are interesting landmarks such as church spires, and unusual or special natural features, and should be allowed for in the design. Well-designed, well-managed woodlands can increase the value and desirability of a property.


Woodland design
There are many different aspects to consider when designing a woodland plan. The main aspects are: 1. Type of woodland 2. Woodland layout 3. Tree spacing 4. Tree suitability

Type of woodland
Broadly there are four types of woodland that can be planted. A scheme may consist of one, some or all of the four main types described in Box 1.
BOX 1 I Main woodland types and additional elements

s Broadleaved
Typically consisting of major (dominant) species such as oak, ash, wild cherry and sweet chestnut. They can be grown for commercial reasons and if managed correctly will produce high value crops in the long-term (60 years). Certain broadleaved species may need pruning to maintain their quality. Thinnings will be taken throughout the life of the woodland and will start when the woodlands are 20–25 years old.

s Coniferous
Typically Scots or Corsican pine, larch or spruce, these are commercial crop trees. They are faster growing and have the potential to provide early saleable timber. Typically the first crop, the thinnings, will be taken from approximately 20 years of age and then every 7 to 10 years until the crop reaches maturity (at 40–60 years old) when it can be felled.

s Mixed broadleaved and coniferous
This type of woodland mixes the two types and provides a compromise giving the increased wildlife benefits of broadleaf woodland with the quicker timber production associated with conifers. There is however a need to consider the scale of the woodland, as small mixed woodland can negate economies of scale, providing insufficient amounts of either hardwoods or softwoods to be economic to manage.

s Fast growing broadleaves
These are fast growing trees, usually poplars, grown under very specific planting and management regimes to provide a final crop in a relatively short time frame of between 20 and 30 years. Additional woodland elements

s Shrubs
Shrubs form an important component of any woodland planting, providing cover for game birds, wildlife habitats and nesting sites for a variety of species. Some, particularly hazel, provide minor timber products.

s Hedgerows
An important feature of the landscape, hedgerows act as corridors for wildlife, link woodlands together, provide natural barriers and, where they encircle the woodland, add warmth to the woodland floor.

s Individual trees
Planting unusual tree species (such as wild service tree, holm oak, wellingtonia) in small groups in an avenue or parkland style in open ground can provide a unique feature to the woodland. Be a little different!


Woodland layout
The layout of the woodland has to consider a number of important factors: 1. Reasons for the woodland 2. Surrounding landscape 3. Existing surrounding woodland 4. Areas of sensitivity (such as watercourses, archaeological features and nature conservation interest). The types of woodland will have been decided at the design stage, taking into account the aims of the woodland and its site conditions. The mix of species within woodland types and their distribution now needs to be decided. There are three options for the establishment of the trees. They can be planted as groups, in lines or in an intimate mixture. Groups The advantage of this system is that in a mixed planting tree groups (varying from 20 to 60 of each species) will grow at the same rate, ensuring survival of all the species and resulting in a woodland that has all species represented. This is a robust and straightforward technique which can maximise the long-term value of the wood. Lines This option is the easiest to manage and suits mechanised planting and harvesting. However, care must be taken to avoid planting different species in alternate rows, especially on sloping ground, as this can create what is known as the ‘pyjama pattern’, because of the obvious stripes that are visible from a distance. Intimate mixture This is a random mix of the major tree species. In appearance this mix is the most desirable but in management terms it is the most difficult to achieve. Failure to manage correctly will result in the faster growing species shading out the slower ones and the desired design will fail to materialise.


Tree spacing
Tree spacing can vary according to the types of species being planted and the type of woodland desired and will affect future management practice. Examples of spacing are shown in Box 2; the one selected will depend on your objectives.
BOX 2 I Examples of tree spacing

s 1mx1m
This spacing is preferred for withies, a type of willow coppiced and used for weaving material. In the past it was a traditional planting distance for oak trees and results in 10,000 trees per hectare.

s 2.1 m x 2.1 m
This is the normal minimum spacing for larger woodlands where timber production is an objective. This equates to 2,250 trees per hectare. To grow quality timber, planting at greater density is favoured. For example, a spacing of 2.1 m x 1.5 m will increase density yet still allow access for maintenance between rows.

s 3mx3m
This spacing is acceptable for small woods and in cases where the prime objective is to create accessible community woodland. This equates to 1,100 trees per hectare.

s 8mx8m
This is an option often used for poplar plantations. The trees are carefully pruned and grown through to a single crop without thinning. This results in 156 trees per hectare.

s Irregular
This may be random within rows and/or random between rows. It is preferred if a more natural appearance is desired or if wildlife and conservation are prime objectives. This variable spacing also allows space for natural regeneration to supplement the planted trees. To ensure successful creation of new native woodland a density of 1,600 trees per hectare should be achieved.
Note: 1 hectare = 2.471 acres. 1 hectare has dimensions of 100 metres by 100 metres.

Regular spacing is much easier to manage especially when the trees are small as it is easier to find them when they are in rows. It also allows the site manager to consider management techniques such as mechanised inter-row swiping and motorised spraying to control competing vegetation, methods which are fast and efficient (see pages 18 and 25).

Tree suitability
The suitability of a tree species to a particular site will depend on a number of factors. These include: soil condition, location, altitude and exposure. Tables 1 and 2 on pages 10–11 indicate the suitability of different tree and shrub species to location and soil conditions. Table 3 on page 11 shows the suitability of trees and shrubs for shelter. Possible end-uses for their timber are shown in Table 4, page 12.


When considering what species are suitable, also think about the overall balance of the woodland and what the woodland is for. Where timber is a main aim, concentrating on a smaller number of species may be desired. For example, consider planting three principal timber species (about 70% in total), two to three medium height species (20% in total) to provide balance and colour and three to four species of woody shrubs (10% in total) to give low cover. For woodland where nature conservation is important, the number of species can be increased. Advice is contained in FC Bulletin 112: Creating new native woodlands, based upon the National Vegetation Classification (NVC) – see page 35. Each wooded NVC type (there are 19) is related to a particular climatic zone and soil condition and represents the type of vegetation that would develop if natural succession was allowed to take its full course.


Table 1 I Suitability of selected tree species to site conditions Species Wet / moist Ash Aspen Black poplar Common alder Common walnut Crab apple Cricket bat willow Downy birch Field maple Goat willow Larch Large leaved lime Pendunculate oak Pine Rowan Sessile oak Silver birch Small leaved lime Sweet chestnut Whitebeam Wild cherry Yew ✔ ✔ ✔ Heavy ✔ ✔ ✔ Soil type Neutral / alkaline ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Acid Light / dry ✔ ✔ Exposed ✔ ✔ Shady Contaminated

✔ ✔ ✔ ✔

✔ ✔ ✔

✔ ✔ ✔ ✔

✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔

✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔

✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔

✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔

✔ ✔

✔ ✔

✔ ✔ ✔ ✔

✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔

✔ ✔ ✔

✔ ✔ ✔

✔ ✔

✔ ✔


Table 2 I Suitability of selected shrub species to site conditions Common name Wet / moist Alder buckthorn Almond willow Bay willow Blackthorn Dog rose Dogwood Eared willow Elder Field rose Guelder rose Hawthorn Hazel Holly Juniper Osier willow Privet Purging buckthorn Purple willow Spindle Wayfaring tree Heavy Soil type Neutral / alkaline ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Acid Light / dry ✔ Exposed

✔ ✔

✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔

✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔

✔ ✔ ✔

✔ ✔ ✔

✔ ✔ ✔

✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔

✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔

✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔

✔ ✔

Table 3 I Suitability of trees and shrubs for shelter

Narrow-crowned broadleaves for edges (many coppice well) Alders: common, red and grey Ash Birches: silver and downy Poplars Rowan Whitebeam Willows: white, goat and crack

Tall broadleaves for height and longevity Ash Oak Sycamore Sweet chestnut

Shrubs for dense lower storey Blackthorn Buckthorn Dog rose Elder Hawthorn Hazel Holly


Table 4 I Tree species and possible end-uses for their timber Broadleaved species
Alder: black and grey Ash Birch: downy and silver

Possible end-use
Turnery work, medium priced furniture and hardwood pulp. Good firewood fuel. Specialist market for sports goods, also tool handles. Burns well even when green – makes excellent logs. Useful furniture plywood and veneer. Poorer quality timbers used for particleboard and pulp. Potential to create birch coppice for fencing hurdles. In great demand for furniture, veneer and turnery. Consider the use of specialist species such as ‘Wildstar’; seek advice. Traditionally used for hedge stakes and binders – a developing market. Also used as a thatching material. Nuts are still harvested – but a niche product. For turnery and carving. Some furniture applications. Musical instruments. Wavy grain maple sought after for appearance. Furniture, panelling, high-class joinery and veneers. Low grades – fencing and gates. Particularly good for veneers and can be used for internal furniture. Fast growing and can be harvested within 25 years but quantity and quality determine potential value. Seek advice. Can be split easily to make cleft fencing and stakes. Alternative to oak in furniture products. Potential for veneer quality timber if high quality stock planted and trees are managed for quality. A specialist species, seek advice. Furniture, joinery & flooring. Quality determines price- ‘wavy’ grain is particularly prized. Don’t dismiss as a ‘weed’ but consider risk posed by squirrel attack. Cricket bat willow is a specialist crop so seek advice. Goat willow has niche uses for sculpture, craft and arts work.

Cherry Hazel

Lime: small and large leaved Maple: field Oak: pendunculate and sessile Poplar

Sweet chestnut Walnut Sycamore

Willow: cricket bat and goat

Coniferous species
Larch: European and Japanese Pine: Corsican and Scots Spruce: Norway

Possible end-uses
General framing, deckboards, baseboards, sometimes leading edge board. Fencing, gates and posts, some joinery use Trussed rafters and general framing. Deckboards and baseboards. Fencing, gateposts, space boarding and purlins. Some joinery uses. A species that can be used as a ‘nurse’ crop, felled early and used for Christmas trees. However consider the increasing popularity of varieties more resistant to dropping their needles; seek specialist advice. Specialist use in high quality furniture and crafts, such as yew bows.



Now that you have thought about the design of your woodland, it’s time to get some trees into the ground! In addition to planting techniques and the types of trees, you need to consider site preparation and the best time of year to plant. Seven main elements are involved in the initial planting of a wood. 1. How to plant 2. Types of trees 3. When to plant 4. Site preparation 5. Marking out 6. Type of planting 7. Tools

How to plant
There are four options: self-planting, hired help, professional tree planting contractors or mechanical planters. Self-planting This is the cheapest option in terms of direct cost, and can be done at your own convenience. Be realistic about the amount of time that it may take, time which may not be readily available or would be better used elsewhere. Typically someone who is not used to planting will manage to plant about 400–500 trees in a day. Hired help Using hired help will greatly reduce the physical workload but will still necessitate organising the planting team. This requires a high level of personnel management and the ability to interpret and implement the carefully considered design plans effectively.


Professional tree planting contractors This is the more expensive option, but it does move some of the responsibility from the owner/advisor to the planting contractor. Choose recommended contractors who can demonstrate that they are well organised and know how to handle delicate planting stock. It is advisable to see if they have carried out work locally and, if they have, to speak to the landowner and visit the site. Professional tree planters work much more quickly and can often plant up to 1,000 trees per day. They are experienced in implementing written planting specifications. One disadvantage with good contractors is that everybody wants them at the same time and availability may be an important factor. It is accepted practice to put a tree replacement (or ‘beat-up’) clause into the initial contract, making the contractors responsible for replacing any trees that fail to establish over a specified time (usually the first two growing seasons). This will encourage contractors to take better care with the initial planting. Tree mortality of 5–6% at the end of one growing season is considered reasonable. If the mortality is greater than this then possible causes (such as poor planting, poor maintenance and pests) need to be investigated. Mechanical planter Using a mechanical planter is cheaper than hand planting and can give significant savings in time. A machine planter can plant as many as 10,000 trees per day in large new woodlands with a simple layout. They are less labour intensive than manual planting but are not ideally suited to sloping ground and are dependent on drier and more friable soil conditions. If conditions are not perfect there can be problems with the trees not being planted completely upright. Drying out and cracking of the ground can occur where the planter has travelled, leading to exposed roots and tree Machine planting at Grey Lodge Wood, Ratby. Note the raised spray booms (front) and the planting machine (rear) mortality. mounted on the tractor.


Planting designs have to be very simple to accommodate mechanised planting. In practice a design which has too many species is unlikely to be accurately replicated. Hand planting may be required to plant special tree species, areas of trees at specific places or at awkward areas where the machine could get stuck.

Types of trees
There is a range of planting stock types to choose from and the choice will depend on species and situation. The stock types include bare root transplants, cell grown, whips, feathered whips, standards and setts. Box 3 describes the different types and explains the advantages and disadvantages of each. As a general rule, for most large-scale woodland planting, it is most cost effective to use 15–20 cm cell grown conifers and 40–60 cm bare rooted broadleaves. It is recommended that the trees are sourced from a reputable forest nursery. The National Forest is committed to the use of trees of local provenance, i.e. those grown from British seed, which have improved growth, better chances of survival and support native wildlife.

Bare rooted oak transplant.

Cell grown oak transplant.


Box 3 I Different types of planting stock Type of tree
Bare root transplants Tree height will vary between 15 and 90 cm and trees will be priced accordingly. Up to 90 cm in height young trees are classed as transplants and will be categorised by the time spent growing in a nursery bed and the time ‘hardening off’ outdoors. For example a 1 + 1 transplant is one year in a nursery bed and one year planted out. A 1 u 1 transplant is a plant grown for one year in a nursery bed, the roots are then undercut in situ and grown for a further year. This technique creates large fibrous root systems. Cell grown The trees are grown from seed in trays of small plastic cells. They are grown rapidly in plastic tunnels and then hardened off outside on concrete or raised trestles. They can vary in age and the length of time they have been hardened off – very young trees should be avoided.

Advantages and disadvantages
Advantages Cheapest, most widely available stock, easiest to plant and have the shortest planting season (November–end of March). Disadvantages Fragile, need to be handled gently and prone to drying out. Ordering trees to be delivered in specially made black and white bags allows them to be stored for up to 4 weeks in a cool and shady place prior to planting.

Whips, feathered whips and standards These are larger trees that range from 90 cm (whips and feathered whips) to 3 m (standards). They can be purchased bare rooted (at the smaller sizes) or rootballed. Rootballing means the trees come with soil attached. This improves their chances of survival but increases the cost.

Advantages Arrive with a small amount of soil, so are more resistant to dry conditions and can be stored for longer than bare rooted material before planting. Planting season can be extended from October through to May. Disadvantages More expensive than bare root transplants. Take longer to plant. Good planting technique is essential, as poor planting can lead to cells being forced out of ground by frost. Heavier to carry. Advantages Best used in specialist situations (such as parkland, formal avenues) where an instant effect and low numbers of trees are required. Disadvantages More expensive and higher risk of losses (can be up to 40%). Larger and heavier so more difficult to move around and plant. May require pit planting, the installation of drainage and (for very large trees) specialist anchoring. Advantages Quick and easy to plant. Willow setts grow quickly in damper ground to give an immediate woodland. Disadvantages A damp (not dry) spring is needed following planting otherwise many trees can die.

Setts Setts are cuttings of species (typically willow and poplar) which are planted directly into the ground. Willow setts are about 20 cm in length and can be planted at great speed and high density. Poplar setts are generally about 0.5 m in length and can be bought with or without roots; unrooted poplar setts are generally preferred and tend to establish more quickly.

1 7

When to plant
Trees should be planted between November and the end of March and before they start coming into bud. Budding can be suppressed by nurseries that keep trees in cold storage. The season can be extended from October and into May by using cell grown stock. Planting late in the season increases the risk of tree mortality. This is particularly critical with bare root trees as they are prone to drying out.

Site preparation
It is vital to determine whether the ground has any innate restrictions to tree establishment. If there is any doubt, soil pits (to about 1m in depth) should be dug at different points within the field. If restrictions (such as a plough pan, compacted soils or very heavy clay soils) are present this could result in limited root growth of the trees, poor growth, high mortality and possible long-term vulnerability to being blown over. Before planting, the plough pan should be broken up by ripping or sub-soiling. The site preparation is dependent on the current use of the field (pasture or arable). For example, whether the field is rough, if there is a high incidence of weeds, and what method of future management you are contemplating. If planting into pasture you have to decide whether or not to keep the existing grassland sward and plant trees into it or whether to plough the field and then re-seed with a low productivity grass or a grass/wildflower mix before planting. Planting straight into the grassland is the cheaper option. However, established grassland often harbours small populations of field voles. Closing off the site to stock or ceasing a cutting regime can result in a vole population explosion that will put young trees at risk (see pages 23–27). On arable fields it is important to decide whether to leave them in stubble or to plough, cultivate and re-seed before planting. Leaving as stubble may mean leaving tramline ruts and an uneven surface that will require remedial works and may affect future management plans. It will also allow any weeds to colonise the site and may make future weed control more difficult. Re-seeding provides the advantage of knowing exactly what grass mix is present (and therefore how to control it) and reduces colonisation by weeds.


If you decide to re-seed it is essential to use a specialist low-vigour grass mix. Many suppliers sell specific ‘forestry’ mixes. You can increase the diversity of the grass sward by adding wildflower seed.

Marking out
Marking out is done for two purposes. The first is to locate the boundaries of the planting, open space and any changes in species, for example from trees to shrubs. This can be simply done using canes, chalk or marking paint and makes planting easier and quicker. The second reason for marking out is to achieve correct stocking rates and assist future management. The following methods can be used:
1. 2. 3. 4. Full grid Half grid Poles and string Canes

Full grid This is the quickest method of marking out and can be done in Spray boom being used to apply marking advance of the planting operation. out spray prior to ground being scored at Roecliffe Wood, Packington. It requires a grid to be marked out at the required spacing, both up/down and across a field. This can be achieved by scoring the ground with a bar attached to the back of a tractor or quad. Some sites are marked out by subsoiler and planting undertaken at the sides of the rip lines. Both techniques will facilitate the mechanical cutting and spraying of the weeds between the trees but the latter can leave an uneven and sometimes cloddy surface. Half grid This is the same principle as a full grid but marking out is only in one direction. This method may be used on difficult or steep terrain (which makes marking out in two directions dangerous) or where a simplified management regime is intended. Maintenance can only be carried out in one direction – the direction of the row. Planting rods can be used to mark the distances of plants within the row.


Poles and string This involves marking out the planting area with poles and indicating the rows by string running between them. Once in place the string will ensure that the row spacing is constant in one direction. Marked planting poles are then used to establish the distance within the rows. This provides Scoring spike mounted onto rear of quad. accuracy between rows; although moving long lengths of string is cumbersome, and in windy conditions accuracy can be reduced as the string blows away or bows in the direction of the wind. Canes The planting area can simply be marked out with rods or canes. This is the easiest and fastest to set up but has the greatest room for error. The planting distance between rows and within rows can vary greatly. One advantage of this method is that it is ideal for achieving an irregular planting pattern. Conversely it is the worst method for enabling future inter-row cutting or mechanised weed control.

Ground scored in both directions at 2.1 m spacing at Park Farm, Ibstock. The chessboard pattern allows for subsequent management in either direction.


Types of hand planting
If you have decided to plant the trees yourself, you will need to use the correct technique to ensure successful establishment. There are two types of hand planting technique: notch planting and pit planting, as described in Box 4.
Box 4 I Types of hand planting Type of planting
Notch planting The spade is used to cut a T- or L-shaped slit in the ground, which is then rolled back and the roots of the tree are inserted. The tree is then firmed in.

Advantages and disadvantages
Advantages A fast process. Disadvantages As this method is designed to be quick, the quality of planting can suffer. In particular, the planting slit can be too small to accommodate the roots, so do check. Advantages Better care of the roots. Ideal for smaller plantings or when tree planters are inexperienced. Disadvantages A much slower process.

Pit planting A hole is dug in the ground, the tree inserted and the soil replaced and firmed in around it. This method is suitable for larger trees or root systems.

The four main stages of notch planting

1. The spade is used to make a first slit in the ground.

2. A second slit is made and levered back.


General tips for planting Whichever method is selected the following tips are important. Planting The spade should be fully inserted into the ground and rolled back over the boot (steel toe-capped boots are advisable). This opens the cut and lifts the soil out of the notch. When the tree is inserted particular attention should be paid to the roots. It is important to ensure that the tree is planted at the correct depth: the soil level should be flush with the root collar, i.e. the point on the tree where the root changes into the shoot. To find the root collar, rub the tree stem near the root; the root collar is the point where the colour changes. Soil After planting, the soil should be firmed back down with the boot heel to ensure that no air gaps are left. Roots The roots should be completely covered by soil to avoid damage to the tree. Ash and sweet chestnut trees tend to have larger root systems and can be poorly planted. If you can see the root or if too much of the root collar is exposed, then the planting is poor. Also check other species to monitor quality. Walnut has unusually large root systems so it is important to double check that they are planted well. Alignment The trees should be vertical; if they are leaning over when planted they will continue to grow at an angle, resulting in poor form and shape, and may eventually fall over.

3. The tree is placed at the slit apex and positioned at the correct depth with the soil level flush with the root collar.

4. The soil is gently firmed in while holding the tree straight.


Figure 1 shows a selection of useful planting tools and explains their suitability for hand planting.
Figure 1 I Useful planting tools.

Spade This is a normal garden spade, better suited to pit planting.

Planting spade This is a much narrower spade favoured by the planting gangs. It is much lighter and faster and designed to be just the right size for notch planting small bare rooted trees.

Pole or dibble As its name suggests, this is just a long straight pole used when planting willows and poplar.


Trees need to be protected from two main threats: weeds and pests.

Weed protection
Weed protection is an essential part of tree care. It is important that this is carried out immediately after planting and again each year after that (for about 3–5 years) in order to reduce competition for water and nutrients from weeds and grasses. The timing will vary depending on the method. There are three possible methods: mulching, mechanical and chemical; these are described in Box 5. On all but the smallest sites chemical weeding is likely to be the most economic technique. Mechanical or mulching techniques may be preferred on organic registered sites and may provide less risk to wildlife.

A clear, weed-free circle following spot application of herbicide at Seale Lodge, Overseal.

When to weed Mulches should be applied straight after planting and should be inspected regularly and reapplied as necessary.


Box 5 I Weed protection methods Type of weed protection
Mulches Mulching smothers weeds or prevents them from germinating. There are two main types of mulch: natural such as wood or bark chips or man-made such as polythene mats.

Advantages and disadvantages
Advantages Can make chemical treatment unnecessary so may be appropriate on sensitive sites. Can be installed by volunteers without specialist training or certificates. Disadvantages Organic mulches must be rotted down. Mats must be fitted and fixed correctly. Loose mulches may require an occasional top-up (or herbicide spray). Expensive and mats can be prone to pest infestation (voles and mice build their nests underneath). Advantages Requires no special skills. Easy to see where the work has been carried out and can be physically rewarding. Disadvantages Needs to be repeated several times a year to be truly effective. Easy to get too close to the trees and damage them (particularly when using strimmers). Advantages Relatively cheap. Very effective if applied properly and at the correct time. Disadvantages Requires knowledge and training in the use of sprays and their application. Most trees require protection from sprays. Can damage trees and the wider environment if used incorrectly.

Mechanical weeding Mechanical weeding is the cutting of vegetation, usually with mowers and strimmers.

Chemical weeding The guidelines for chemical weeding are constantly being updated. You are recommended to refer to up to date sources of advice and always check the label on the container to ensure that it is suitable for your situation. You can contract out the work; the contractors then become responsible for ensuring that the correct mix and type of chemicals and rate of application are used. A wide range of chemicals are currently available. Broadly speaking these forest herbicides fall into two categories: pre-emergent (also known as residuals) and emergent (mostly foliar acting). Pre-emergent (residuals) Pre-emergent herbicides can be applied prior to planting or immediately afterwards as the chemical goes into the soil and is then absorbed by the roots. Examples include products based around chemicals such as pendimethalin and propyzamide. Emergent (mostly foliar acting) Emergent herbicides must be applied after the weeds have had time to grow and establish themselves. Examples include products based around chemicals such as glyphosphate, triclopyr and paraquat.


Chemical weeding should be undertaken immediately after planting and then again in the spring of each subsequent year for at least 3 years. The time of year varies with the substance being applied. February–early April can be an ideal time to spray while weeds (such as grasses) are just emerging. It may be necessary to use at least two applications within a planting season. Should this be the case then foliar acting herbicides could be applied from August to September and/or residuals in December–January. As a general rule a minimum area of 1.2 m diameter around each tree should be kept weed free from April–September, for 3–5 years after planting, or until trees are well established.

Mechanical spraying of rows with herbicide at Buildings Farm Woods, Hartshorne.

Failure to control weeds in the early years will significantly restrict tree growth for many years to follow. The presence of weeds also makes the trees more vulnerable to other damage as it is simply harder to see and control pests such as voles and rabbits. As with planting it is possible to hire professional contractors to carry out this work. For help with invasive weeds, such as ragwort, specialist advice should be sought.


Protection against animal damage
New trees are very attractive to animals looking for young growth to browse. They need protection against common mammals, including deer, rabbits, hares and voles, and against stock such as sheep. The four main methods of protection are fencing, tree shelters, grass cutting and raptor posts, as described in Box 6. Individual tree shelters are needed on a number of sites. They are very useful but it is essential Clear evidence of vole to install them correctly – damage: removal of the bark and underlying growth layers see Figure 2.
at the base of this poplar tree.

Raptor post – a costeffective and natural method for pest control in establishing woodland.

Figure 2 I Tree protection and tools.

Shelter Used to protect the plant from pest attack and enhances growth by acting as a ‘greenhouse’. There is a wide range of products (spirals, sleeves, shelters, mesh guards) so check that the selection is correct for each species and that it provides sufficient protection.

Stake If tree shelters are required then a firm stake or cane is needed to ensure that the shelter stays in place. Stakes should be driven at least 20 cm into the ground, but this does vary with the type of shelter and stake being used. If tubes are used, the stake should be inserted so that it is just below the level of the shelter (otherwise the tree rubs against the stake and can be damaged).

Mell Used for knocking in the stakes to the required depth.


Box 6 I Main ways of protecting against animal damage Type of protection
Fencing It may be necessary to erect some form of fencing around the woodland to keep out stock such as sheep.

Advantages and disadvantages
Advantages For larger sites this is significantly cheaper than fitting individual tree guards. Less obtrusive in the landscape. No broken guards to refit or tidy up when no longer needed. Helps to channel public access. Disadvantages Once breached the woodland is vulnerable. Fencing does not protect trees against vole damage. Trees can be hard to find if competing vegetation is not kept under control.

Individual tree protection Different types of individual tree protection are available, from spiral guards, sleeves, wraps to double skinned tubes. All provide a physical barrier to prevent mammal damage and enhance growth through a ‘greenhouse’ effect. Individual protection methods have the added bonus of clearly marking tree locations, offering a barrier against pests and giving a degree of protection to the trees when spraying weeds or cutting unwanted vegetation.

Advantages Offer greater protection to individual trees. Easier to find young trees. Weed control easier if installed correctly (no other vegetation inside). Disadvantages High initial cost. Too many tubes can give a ‘graveyard’ appearance. Pests can make nests in tubes. High maintenance cost: ongoing adjustment/removal of damaged guards and stakes. Some protection degrades too slowly which can ‘strangle’ and kill the trees. Long-term costs of removal/disposal have to be considered. Advantages Helps pest control. Can make site look ‘neater’, although not necessarily better. Disadvantages Plan timing carefully to minimise disruption to ground-nesting birds. Cutting can increase competition for nutrients and make the site more exposed, thereby slowing tree establishment. Advantages Natural, effective, cheap and quick to install – recommended.

Grass cutting This is important in areas of high vole populations. Voles can enter through rabbit fencing and under tree shelters. By keeping the grass short between the rows they are deprived of cover and more easily seen by predators such as kestrels and owls.

Raptor posts Encourages birds of prey into the woodland as they can perch on the posts and use them as platforms from which to hunt.

Voles seem to particularly like ash trees – so if the ash are showing signs of vole damage then use this as an early indication that they are present, pose a threat and need controlling.


Several aspects are involved in the maintenance of a new woodland. The following is a useful checklist. • Keeping the trees growing so they establish successfully – weeding around the trees – general grass control – control of competition • Replacing dead trees • Ongoing management

Keeping the trees growing
• Weeding around the trees It is critical that weeding is carried out at the appropriate time (see page 23) otherwise the weeds will out-compete the trees for available nutrients and water before they become established. The single largest cause of dead trees is the lack of adequate weed control.
Weed-free rows at Frankies, Alrewas. At this stage no • Grass control further herbicide control is necessary to ensure that the trees become established, but ongoing shelter Controlling the grass by cutting makes maintenance will need to be considered. managing the woodland easier but does not directly make the trees grow faster or establish easier – these aspects are more greatly influenced by proper weeding and general maintenance. Indeed, cutting vegetation can encourage it to grow back more vigorously, thus increasing the competition for nutrients and water, and slowing tree growth. However, there may be conditions, such as the need to control areas of noxious weeds (although spraying is preferable on smaller patches), to show paths, glades and open areas and to remove surplus vegetation in order to make weeding easier, where some grass control is necessary. Some woodland owners like to cut the grass to make the woodland look neater, but this is largely a matter of personal preference. Two main methods can be used to control grass: mowing and strimming.


Mowing This is the most effective and Muntjac deer are a threat to woodland and its least likely to cause damage to the trees. It associated groundflora. Deer numbers are increasing. is also a lot cheaper, faster and less labour intensive than strimming. A number of tractor-based flails and sit-on mowers are available. Strimming This is labour intensive and frequently results in damage to the bark at the base of the tree. However, strimming may be the only option if the trees are planted in a pattern that is inaccessible for a machine-based mower. Here there is a need to consider the benefits of grassland and unplanted ground for nature conservation; controlling only selected parts of the grassland may be required. Farmland birds have declined seriously over the last 25 years – yet new woodland creates ideal habitat for many farmland birds such as skylark, snipe, curlew, lapwings, partridge and pheasant. Each species has its own bird nesting season (lapwings nest from April to mid August, snipe from mid May to mid July) but as a general rule mowing should be avoided between April to mid August. When mowing wildlife friendly practices should be used such as setting a high mower height, manoeuvring around nests and, wherever possible, leaving areas unmown. • Control of competition This includes weed and pest control (see pages 23–29). It is vital to determine the current level, and future levels, of pests. This will influence the type of protection used (e.g. individual guards, fencing) and determine management practices. The creation of The National Forest is resulting in the expansion of suitable deer habitat within a wider context of increasing deer numbers. Without adequate control of the population, serious damage is likely to be caused to woodlands, crops and groundflora. Appropriate woodland design (including deer fencing, deer lawns) needs to be considered when planning a new woodland. Culling deer offers the potential for income (stalking, game products). Management is also important to maintain the health of deer populations. The National Forest is encouraging landowners to work through Deer Management Groups to ensure wise and sustainable management.


As the woodland area expands and matures, so the grey squirrel will need control. Grey squirrels can seriously damage trees and can compete with and predate on native fauna, such as dormouse and woodland birds. Trapping or shooting are ways of control, but neighbouring landowners will need to work together in order to be truly effective.

Replacing dead trees
Tree numbers need to be counted in August to assess success rate and calculate numbers required for restocking (beating-up). When replacing losses, it is best to replant with the species that are establishing best while considering the overall aim of the woodland. Any natural regeneration can be used to offset the number of new trees planted.

Ongoing management
This involves regularly checking the site to monitor the progress of tree growth and looking out for potential problems. The following brief checklist may be helpful. • Weed infestation observed and controlled • Growth rate of grass and other competing vegetation monitored • Fences repaired if damaged or collapsed • Tree guards repaired, replaced or removed • Raptor posts in place • General site maintenance, such as litter collection and checking signage • Mowing paths and glades

Spring in a young woodland – time to enjoy and to plan ahead.


Looking ahead
Creating new woodland on farmland is both a challenge and an opportunity. Some landowners look at their newly planted woodland and feel a sense of disappointment – the trees resemble little green twigs and their neighbour’s wheat field looks so tidy. Yet, as the trees develop and the opportunities that the woodland provides become more apparent, so these feelings change. Many landowners comment on how they enjoy seeing the trees grow, the increase in wildlife and how they find something different in their woodland every time they go through it. The change from a ‘twig’ to a recognisable tree is not, as many people think, a slow process. By the time that the trees are 5 years old they can be 2 metres tall and the character of the woodland is emerging. Successful woodland creation rests upon thorough planning, implementation and maintenance. There is a lot of work involved. In particular the first 5 years are the vital time for tree establishment and weed control – all of which can influence the future direction of the woodland. Experience shows that keeping things simple, robust and sustainable results in greatest success. A considered design is paramount to avoid future conflicts, concerns and costs. Maintaining woodland carefully, and carrying out operations at the right time, is imperative. Not looking after woodland only serves to accumulate problems for the future, so if there are any concerns, advice should be sought. Like the trees, woodland-related opportunities can grow quickly. In The National Forest, leisure and tourism are becoming increasingly popular and an attractive source of income for many landowners. Markets for the timber are developing – existing outlets are rejuvenating and new ones emerging. A woodland’s first timber supplies will be the lower grade materials, called thinnings, that will be produced when the trees are 20 years old. This low-grade material can be converted into products such as logs, charcoal, rustic furniture or woodchips for equestrian purposes or woodfuel. The development of installations that need wood as a fuel in order to provide heat and/or electricity is a real opportunity, both within the Forest and on a wider, national scale.


There is, however, no standard formula for maximising the products that can be taken from the wood. In the past, woodland owners have sought to sell timber as a raw, unfinished commodity. This benefits the buyer, not the grower. In The National Forest every encouragement will be given to landowners to think differently, to add value and to maximise opportunities. So, a maxim should be:

think beyond the trees.


Sources of further information and advice
National Forest Company Bath Lane Moira Swadlincote Derbyshire Tel: 01283 551211 DE12 6BD www.nationalforest.org Responsible for creating, through working partnerships and with community participation, a new 200 square mile multi-purpose forest for the nation in the heart of England. The National Forest Company offers advice, grants and support for projects that can help contribute towards the creation of the Forest. Forestry Commission Willingham Road Market Rasen Lincolnshire LN8 3RQ

Tel: 01673 842644 www.forestry.gov.uk

Regional office for Forestry Commission advice, grants and forestry policy. The Game Conservancy Trust Fordingbridge Hampshire Tel: 01425 652381 SP6 1EF www.gct.org.uk A charity that promotes for public benefit the conservation of game species, conducts research and advances the education of the public in game biology and conservation. This is also the contact address for: The British Deer Society Tel: 01425 655434 www.bds.org.uk


Forest Research Alice Holt Lodge Farnham Surrey GU10 4LH

Tel: 01420 22255 www.forestry.gov.uk/forest_research

Research, development and surveys relevant to the forest industry in Britain. Information and advice via publications, webpages, consultancies and contracts. Much of the research effort is directed at increasing the environmental and social benefits of trees, including biodiversity and recreation, and ensuring integrated land management. Northmoor Trust Little Wittenham Abingdon Oxfordshire OX14 4RA

Tel: 01865 407792 www.northmoortrust.co.uk

A charity that promotes wildlife and countryside conservation. It offers specialist expertise and advice regarding walnut for quality timber production. Royal Forestry Society 102 High Street Tring Hertfordshire HP23 4AF

Tel: 01442 822028 www.rfs.org.uk

The UK’s largest and cosmopolitan educational forestry charity, organising field trips, study tours and publishing the Quarterly Journal of Forestry for its 4,400 members. Small Woods Association The Cabins Malehurst Estate Minsterley Shropshire Tel: 01743 792644 SY5 0EQ www.smallwoods.org.uk Aims to advance education in the conservation of small woodlands. Offers insurance advice and packages, open days and woodland events.


Further reading and references
Forestry Commission publications and website Ellis. J. and the SE England Conservancy Team (2003). So, you own a woodland? Getting to know your woodland and looking after it. Forestry Commission, Cambridge. Kerr, G. and Williams, H.V. (1999). Woodland creation: experiences from The National Forest. Forestry Commission Technical Paper 27. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh. Morgan, J.L. (1999). Forest tree seedlings – best practice in supply, treatment and planting. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh. Rodwell, J. and Patterson, G. (1994). Creating new native woodlands. Forestry Commission Bulletin 112. HMSO, London. Reprinted 2001: Forestry Commission, Edinburgh. Willoughby, I. and Clay, D. (1996). Herbicides for farm woodlands and short rotation coppice. Field Book 14. HMSO, London. Willoughby, I. and Clay, D. (1999). Herbicide update. Technical Paper 28. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh. Willoughby, I. and Dewar, J. (1995). The use of herbicides in the forest. Field Book 8. HMSO, London. Many other useful publications are listed on the Forestry Commission’s website: www.forestry.gov.uk/publications. They can all be obtained from: Forestry Commission Publications, PO Box 25, Wetherby, West Yorkshire LS23 7EW. Tel: 0870 121 4180 forestry@twoten.press.net Alternatively, contact your local Forestry Commission office.


Other publications ADAS (2002). Creating native woodlands on farms. Defra, London. Miles, A. (1999). Silva: the tree in Britain. Ebury Press, London. Beautifully produced and photographed, this coffee table book will inspire and fascinate all woodland owners and users.




Creating your own farm woodland can be a challenging and rewarding experience. This toolkit provides, in a concise and practical style, information that can be used by all landowners who are considering creating new woods on farmland.

Based upon the experiences of landowners within The National Forest, the toolkit: • considers the advantages of farm woodland • describes what type of woodland can be planted • highlights how to plant and manage woodland • gives handy hints and compares different techniques • points to other sources of information • fits in a jacket pocket so that it can be used in the field.

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