Generally the number of trees planted per hectare will vary from 1,000 to 2,500 trees, but the number will vary hugely, depending on the species and the type of planting.

A native, mixed woodland could contain around 1,600 trees per hectare, as these larger species will need to be well spaced to allow for their broad mature canopy, while a ‘tiny forest’ will be planted much more densely. If you’re planting a hedgerow, the whips can sit just 30cm apart – but these will be planted over a much more compact area.

Fruit trees are typically smaller, and you can opt for dwarf varieties if space is particularly tight, but you’ll need to leave broad avenues between them to allow for fruit gathering – it’s preferable to encourage an apple tree to grow outwards rather than upwards to make harvesting easier.

In short – the number of trees per hectare will depend very much on the tree species you’d like to plant on your site and the type of environment you’d like to create. You can speak with your local tree nursery to find out more, or discuss with the NHS Forest. Our downloadable Tree Planting Guidance Pack contains plenty of information and ideas about tree planting.

If you’d like to support our efforts to boost tree cover on and around healthcare sites in the UK, why not sponsor an NHS Forest tree?

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