About Tree Appeal
Tree Appeal plants trees to promote biodiversity, create habitats and improve the environment for people. The trees are paid for by our sponsors - businesses and individuals that want to make a positive contribution to the environment. Most of our trees go to schools in the UK and Ireland.
We know that responsible organisations are already doing what they can to help the environment - recycling, reducing waste, reducing energy use. Tree Appeal can help them to take a step further by making a positive contribution to natural woodland habitats - both locally and nationally.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why tree planting?
A tree is the basic building block for much of our environment. Trees provide woodland habitats for a wide range of plants, bugs, birds and animals. We have an aging population of broad leaf trees in the UK. A large number of them are in their latter years and are vulnerable to storm damage and natural decay. Nineteen million trees were destroyed in the storms of 1987 and 1990. More than thirty million were killed by Dutch Elm Disease and we now face a number of disease threats such as Ash Dieback and Sudden Oak Death.
We need to act now to secure the future of our woodlands. Over the last 50 years nearly half of the UK's ancient, semi-natural woodland has been cleared or converted to commercial plantations. Our destruction of UK woodland habitat during the last century has seen more than one hundred species of animals become extinct. Many more are on the endangered list. Nearly a fifth of Britain's wild plants and flowers are under threat and the chances of seeing many of them in the wild are growing slimmer by the year. We can start to turn things round by planting trees.
What is biodiversity?
Biodiversity is the variation of life in a particular area, or ecosystem. The plants, insects, birds and animals that live in the same habitat are all dependent on each other for their existence. The failure of one species will have a detrimental effect on others, and that includes us. Biodiversity is often used as a measure of the health of biological systems. Whether we talk about the biodiversity of the planet or the biodiversity of our back garden the variety of species can tell us a lot. The more species present, the more robust the ecosystem. The UK has biodiversity targets which have been set according to international agreements. There will be a Local Biodiversity Action Plan for the place where you live. Read more about the Convention on Biodiversity.
Where are the trees planted?
Tree Appeal plants trees throughout the UK in lots of different settings. The majority of our trees go to schools but we also plant them in nature reserves, hedgerows and dedicated woodland. Tree Appeal invites requests for trees from anyone and we consider all applications on their merits. We are particularly interested in schools as locations for trees as part of our Trees for Schools initiative.
To apply for free trees for your school or college download a Trees for Schools application (PDF).
If you are not an educational establishment of some kind then download a Non-school application for trees (PDF)
When are the trees planted?
Most of our trees are planted during the planting season which traditionally runs from November to March. The saplings must be dormant when they are planted to make sure they have the best chance. We use a hardy type of 'cell-grown' sapling which allows us to extend the effective tree planting season to most of the school year - October to April for all practical purposes. A very small number are planted during the summer months, usually to mark a special occasion or as part of an event.
What sort of trees are they?
Tree Appeal only plants native broad leaf trees such as oak, beech and hazel. They are grown locally from hand-collected seed. These are the species which are known to best promote biodiversity. Most are 'cell-grown whips' - small saplings between 0.5m and 1m in height. When planted at the correct time of year, these whips establish very easily and grow vigorously. They are very easy to plant - many of our trees are planted by children. The provenance of all our trees is known and we have never planted an imported tree.
Who plants the trees?
The recipient of the trees is responsible for their planting. People who apply for our trees are usually keen to get 'hands on'. In the case of schools it is often the students who do the planting, which we encourage. Some schools have taken enough trees to allow the children to plant one each. When trees are sent to woodland projects the planting is usually done by conservation volunteers.
Do the trees need a lot of attention?
For schools, each tree is supplied with a cane for support and a spiral rabbit guard. Locations that need stronger protection (against deer for example) need to make their own arrangements. The saplings are very easy to plant. As long as this is done correctly and at the right time of year, the saplings will grow well with very little maintenance.
Trees for Schools is our initiative designed to encourage schools to make the most of their grounds by tree planting. This helps create woodland habitat, increases biodiversity and, most importantly, provides an excellent learning resource - planting the trees, watching them grow, seeing how wildlife is encouraged, charting the changing seasons and weather. Read more about Trees for Schools.
Who pays for the trees?
Trees are paid for by our Corporate Partners and individual sponsors. The saplings, canes and spiral guards are sent to schools completely free. In return we acknowledge the contribution that our Corporate Partners have made wherever it is appropriate. We ask the recipients to declare that the trees have been planted and to provide photographs as evidence.
Who are Tree Appeal's Corporate Partners?
Tree Appeal's Corporate Partners are businesses of all sizes - regional, national and international. They are companies that are already mindful of issues such as reducing consumption of resources and minimizing the environmental impact of their activities. These companies have recognized the need to actively engage in environmental projects.
Why do companies become Corporate Partners?
Tree Appeal's Corporate Partners understand the value of tree planting as a key environmental activity. Tree planting and its benefits are easy to explain to both customers and employees. Companies are often engaged in many worthwhile and sustainable projects and yet receive no acknowledgment. Tree planting is a great way to draw attention to a company's green credentials - it's a celebration for now and a legacy for future generations. Read about what Tree Appeal can do for your company.