England

UK Tree planting: Your questions answered

a young broadleaf woodland Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Broadleaf trees such as ash and beech were planted across the UK last year along with coniferous trees such as pine and larch

Tree planting rates across the UK need to more than double to levels last seen in the late 1980s if the government is to meet its climate change targets, according to its advisers.

The Committee on Climate Change has recommended the UK begin planting 30,000 hectares (115.8 sq miles) of trees to help meet its goal of cutting all greenhouse gas emissions.

About 15 million trees have been planted in England with government funding over the past eight years - but rates vary widely and many urban areas did not have any.

Here we answer your questions about tree planting across the UK.

What types of trees are being planted?

Image caption Figures show almost 13,400 hectares (51.7 sq miles) of new trees were planted in the last year

Between 2010 and 2018 there were 23,090 hectares of conifer and 59,460 hectares of broadleaf trees planted across the UK.

Last year the total was split between 8,050 conifer and 5,350 broadleaf trees.

Conifers produce cones and often have needle-like leaves. They hold up well in cold conditions and are fast growing, making up the majority of trees used in timber harvesting, according to Forestry and Land Scotland.

Broadleaved trees usually have wide leaves that are lost in the autumn. Because they grow slowly, timber from broadleaves is known as hardwood.

Are these figures for new woodland or do these include replacing trees?

No, these are just the figures for new trees planted with government funding.

The most recent figures for the overall change in woodland - taking into account the trees lost for "open habitat restoration" and "development" - is 2016-17, for England.

Forestry Commission data shows there was an overall increase in woodland by 318 hectares, an increase on 2015-16 where the government reported a net loss of 556 hectares.

How has England's woodland changed?

New trees planted minus woodland removed (hectares)

Source: Forestry Commission

If every UK household with a garden planted two trees, how many would that amount to?

Across the UK there were 27.2 million households in 2017, according to the Office for National Statistics. Of these, academics estimate that of these 22.7 million households have a garden.

If all of these households planted two trees each, this would total more than 45 million.

This is about 3% of the total number of trees the Woodland Trust estimates the UK needs to plant by 2050 in order to reach net zero emissions - 1.5 billion.

In 2018/19 the government helped fund two million trees through woodland creation schemes.

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