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10 Most common UK trees Guide

Most common UK trees- Trees are precious gift from the God to the whole humankind and nature. Trees are home for various variety of living beings such as birds, insects and many more. 

When we talk about the most common UK trees, they are beautiful as well as they are easily identified due to their physical characteristics. 

This Pierdom article will guide you all about common UK trees. As there are more than 70 species of tree present in UK, including native and non-native. 

List of Most Common UK Trees

List of 10 most common trees in UK:

Most Common trees in UKBinomial NameSizeLeaves
1AlderAlnus GlutinosaUpto 20mRounded, serrated leaves in an alternate arrangement
2BeechFagus SylvaticaUpto 40mLeaves are alternate and oval with wavy edges.
3Scots PinePinus SylvestrisUpto 35mNeedle-like leaves, common to conifers. They are placed in pairs.
4OakQuercus RoburUpto 40mLarge leaves, with alternate lobed, that have smooth, straight edges.
5HawthornCrataegus MonogynaUpto 12mThe leaves are long and deeply lobed. Sometimes almost to the midrib.
6HazelCorylus AvellanaUpto 15mLeaves can be described as deciduous round long and across, smooth and hairy on both sides.
7Rowan Sorbus AucupariaUpto 15mPinnate compound leaves. Six to eight pairs of oval serrated leaflets that have a single leaflet on the tip.
8Silver BirchBetula PendulaUpto 20mThese leaves are slender, short stalks that are triangular, with large, straight wedge-shaped bases.
9Small Leaved LimeTilia CordataUpto 40mThe cordata leaves are alternately arranged, rounded to triangular, 3–8 cm long and broad.
10White WillowSalix AlbaUpto 25mLeaves are Long, thin, oval shaped with smooth edges. Dark green on top and lighter green underneath. 

1- Alder (Alnus Glutinosa)

Alder (Alnus Glutinosa) most common UK tree

Alder- you can say these British trees are water loving trees. They are the first most common trees in UK. They are found often in grounds that have moisture. Alders can be easily found near rivers, streams.  

The interesting fact about this British tree is that their tough wood does not rot even they are in moist grounds. Instead of getting rot, these trees become more stronger and harder. They have the capability to fix nitrogen from the air. 

You can identify these trees by examining the small brown cones. They can grow up to 20m.  

2- Beech (Fagus Sylvatica)

Beech (Fagus Sylvatica) common UK tree

Beech- known as the queen of British trees, second most common UK trees, are found in southern and central England in drier areas. These trees prefer chalky soils.  

Beech trees can live up to 300 years and the nuts are widely used to fattened pigs by the farmers. They can grow up to 40m. 

You can identify these trees by its leaves having hairy edges. Its leaves produce four lobed cases of seed that fall to the floor of the forest. The beech tree is a symbol for femininity. 

3- Scots Pine ( Pinus Sylvestris)

Scots Pine is the only pine tree species that is native in Scotland in the UK which is also Scotland’s official tree. Grows in nature and it is widely spread particularly throughout the Caledonian forest in the Scottish Highlands, however it has also been planted in other parts in the UK. It is a great choice for dry, acidic and hard soils. Size: Up to 35m.

Needle-like leaves, which are common to conifers, and are placed in pairs. Scots Pine is evergreen so it has leaves that remain year-round. Seeds are enclosed in pinecones.

A thick, scaly, bark that appears dark in the lowest areas of the tree. It is an orange/brown colour higher up.

4- Oak (Quercus Robur)

English oaks, the third common UK trees, are one of the most fast-growing trees. They are a symbol for strength of the nation. These trees can live up to 1000 years.  

Oak trees can be widely found in the well-drained along with sunny locations. These trees have a height of 40m. These trees may become shorten to increase their life span.  

Oak trees can be identified by their rounded and short leaves. Its trunk can be 3 meters across. As the barks of oak trees grow old, it becomes hard like that of a crocodile skin. 

In younger oaks, the bark is silver, brown but as they mature it turns into darker brown. 

Read a detail guide on Piers in Britain

5- Hawthorn (Crataegus Monogyna)

Hawthorn, the most useful trees which gives fruits that enjoyed both by birds and humans. They are found mostly in woods often in hedgerows and scrubland. They are dense and pungent. It consists of branches that are so fast in growing.  

A single hawthorn tree can grow up to 12m that is equivalent to 40ft. They are easily identified by its flowers that have five white clustered petals and spiny twig. The interesting thing about this tree is that more than 300 species of insects rely on this tree in order to get food. 

6- Hazel (Corylus Avellana)

Hazel- one of the most common UK trees, and who doesn’t know about hazelnuts? It’s loved by everyone including those tiny squirrels. The hazel doesn’t rely on bees for pollination but the wind which makes their work of pollination easier.  

A hazel tree can survive up to 80 years and can grow up to 20ft in height. You can identify these trees by touching the leaves that are soft due to the small downy hair present on the leave’s surface.  

Hazelnuts produced by these trees are an importance source of food for the hazel dormice because it helps them fattening up for hibernation. Hazel trees are found in places like understorey of oak and ask and even in birch woodland. 

7- Rowan (Sorbus Aucuparia)

Rowan, these are on the most common UK trees, widely found in north and west. They are also known as mountain ash. These trees can gown quickly in barren environment. It also creates a more suitable environment for the plants and animals around it.  

Rowan Trees are widely used for planting purposes in the gardens, even found in the streets and higher altitudes in the mountains that why it is called mountain ash. This tree can tolerate diverse environmental conditions but still prefers well drained soil in full sun. These trees can grow up to 15m in height.  

They can be identified by their leaves that are arranged in an order on 5 to 8 in pairs that feels like a feather upon seeing. These trees are also planted widely for the protection from witches as these trees possess an old Celtic name of ‘fid na ndruad’ that means wizard’s tree. 

8- Silver Birch (Betula Pendula)

Silver Birch- a symbol for purity. These British trees can grow up to 20m in height and have a life span up to 200 years. It can survive in wide range of temperatures. These trees have widespread roots that absorbs minerals and nutrients from the soil from a good distance. It is a very popular yet common UK tree.  

They are commonly found in areas that are dry mostly in dry woodlands. These trees can be easily identified by its leaves that are triangular in shape and have rough twigs and the bark that is white. 

The bark in younger Silver birch trees is smooth while as they age their bark becomes peeling off in deep ridges. 

9- Small Leaved Lime (Tilia Cordata)

Lime trees having small leaves are among the common trees in UK. They are mostly found in well drained soils in woodlands. These lime trees contain sweet scents. These trees appear to be charming.  

Small Leaved Lime is consider as pollination magnet because bees are attracted towards these trees because of the sweet fragrance. These trees can be easily identified by their heart shaped leaves and their brown red twigs that shines and glows in direct sunlight.  

The underside of the leaves on these trees have hair that are rusty red in color. Small leaved lime trees have an extraordinary age limit of 2000 years and can grow up to 35m tall. 

10- White Willow (Salix Alba)

White willow trees have a variety of different species including crack willow and goat willow al around the UK that’s why it is one of the most common UK tree. These trees appear to be romantic.  

These trees can be easily found at riversides because they grow near the water as their leaves drape in the water, so it feeds and shelters the wildlife. As these trees have different species, in that case white willow trees can be identified by their leaves having paler and oval structures.  

Willow trees were seen as celebration trees in the biblical times but today they are related to unhappiness and mourning. The size of these trees can vary species to specie, white willows can grow up to 25m while the goat willows can grow up to 12m in height. These trees lose their leaves because they are deciduous. These trees have a short life span ranging from 20 years to 30 years. 

Most Common Trees in UK Conclusion

As trees are highly important for our nature and wildlife, above mentioned are the common trees in UK. Trees play an important and vital role in nature’s upbringing and they enhance the beauty of our environment. The common trees in UK are beautiful and along with their beauty they carry a symbol of love, affection, strength and dignity with them.

Common Tress UK (FAQs)

What is a most popular and common tree in UK? 

Oak English is the most popular and common tree in UK as its fallen leaves support biodiversity. 

How many types of trees can be found in UK? 

UK alone is a home for over 80 million tree species thereby is considered as an urban forest. 

Which trees are rare in UK? 

Mimosa, oven’s wattle, paper barked maple, Japanese maple, cut leaf maple and purple aeonium are among the rare tree species in UK. 

Which is the fastest growing tree in UK? 

Weeping willow, Lombardy poplar and silver birch are considered as the most fast-growing trees of UK. 

Which is the prettiest tree in UK? 

Rowan, the prettiest tree in UK for every season. They turn blunt red in autumn that looks adorable.