Greenbelt

How well do you know your trees?

With fires decimating huge swathes of the Amazon rainforest, the world’s attention has been very much focused on trees this month – and what we can do to protect them.

Here in the UK there are around 100 common tree species, with some of the most popular thriving in our urban areas and on Greenbelt’s new home developments.

In fact, we plant hundreds of thousands of trees and shrubs every year, all of which help reduce the effect of CO2 emissions.

But how well do you know your trees? Let’s find out, with our guide to some of Britain’s best loved species.

The Sycamore

With a Latin name of acer pseudoplatanus, it’s believed the sycamore tree was introduced to Britain in the sixteenth century.

The sycamore can grow more than 30 metres tall and lives up to 400 years.

It’s a popular choice for parks, gardens and roadsides, thanks to its majestic and broad crown of leaves.

The Silver Birch

Also known as the betula pendula, the silver birch is a fast grower – it can reach 25 metres and lives up to 200 years.

Wind and frost-resistant, hardy young birch trees have smooth bark that begins to peel as they grow older, leaving deep ridges.

Thanks to their sturdy roots and a high tolerance to pollution they’re often planted in industrial areas and on roadsides.

And did you know it can be used to improve soil quality for other plants to grow?

The Oak

The mighty English oak (quercus robur) is regarded as a national emblem. Able to grow to 40 metres tall, common oaks offer a broad and spreading crown with incredibly sturdy branches.

Did you know that the king of the forest’s silvery brown bark becomes more rugged as the tree matures?

The Sessile oak (quercus petraea), meanwhile, has acorns that are attached directly to outer twigs and not held on stalks. Found mainly in semi-natural woodlands, they can form dense, single-species woodlands when left to mature.

Did you know that it has also been designated as the national tree of Wales?

You can find out more about Woodland Walks in The Green Room.