What can be planted instead of Oak?

The recent government ban on Oak (Quercus) import came in a few weeks ago.

We currently have a number of homegrown Oak in stock. When we have sold those, there will almost certainly be a shortage. Many of our customers have asked us what other trees can we plant instead of Oak.

Various oak tree leaves
From left: English Oak, Red Oak, Evergreen Oak.

We have listed a number of trees which could be planted as an alternative:

Acer campestre (Field Maple)
Acer campestre is a densely branched, spreading or rounded tree with dark green lobed leaves, turning golden yellow in the autumn. Small greenish flowers are inconspicuous as the leaves emerge. Acer campestre is a tough small tree for a variety of situations from street to small gardens.

Betula Pendula (Silver Birch)
popular tree with pendulous weeping branches, white bark which becomes marked with dark, rugged cracks at the base on older trees. Diamond-shaped, sharply toothed mid-green leaves, turning yellow in autumn, bears yellow male catkins in early spring.

Oak and Beech, close up of foliage.
Native trees: Oak (left) Hornbeam (right)

Carpinus betulus (Hornbeam)
Carpinus betulus is widely planted in this country. Its full form is often used to create structure and screening. The native Hornbeam is one of the most important trees in the British Isles. It thrives on clay soils, amongst others and can be grown as a specimen tree or to form a spectacular hedge. Hornbeam makes an effective screening or specimen tree. Bright green ovate leaves turning orange-brown in the autumn and hang on the tree long into the winter.

Fagus Sylvaticia (Beech)
Fagus sylvatica is a large attractive spreading tree, the leaves emerge a silky haired bright green at first, turning glossy dark green, then yellow to orange-brown in autumn, eventually turning brown and hanging on in winter, to give a good screen and architectural value. If you have clay soil, Hornbeam is preferred.

Sorbus Aucuparia (Rowan)
Sorbus aucuparia is one of our native trees which is a very tough and versatile species capable of withstanding most situations including urban planting and poor soils. Rowan or Mountain Ash is fast growing and quite upright when young, becoming rounded as it ages with an ultimate height around 10m tall. In late spring it produces clusters of white small flowers which are followed by small orange-red to red berries which are great for migrating birds in winter. The pinnate, green leaves have a serrated edge and turn yellow to orange-red in autumn before falling. This is a great tree for all gardens, parks and woodlands with great seasonal interest.

Tilia Cordata (Lime)
Tilia cordata, with its rounded leaves, mid to dark green upper surfaces and grey underside, yellow to white fragrant flowers attract bees and insects. The Small-leaved Lime is tolerant of air pollution and responds well to clipping and can be found pollarded in many gardens and churchyards across the country. This is a great tree for larger gardens, parks, and woodlands with great stature.

The trees listed above, like Oak, are all trees native to the UK, particularly suited to a countryside location, although many are also tolerant of the pollution that is encountered in urban situations.

Our knowledgeable staff are always on hand to answer any questions you may have.

Read More:

A buyer’s guide to Oak Trees (Quercus)
How we grow our Oak trees
Bare Root Trees: 2019 planting season
Expert guide to Screening Trees
Top 10 Trees for Winter InterestPrime Minister Boris Johnson visits King and Co the Tree Nursery as part of Conservative leadership campaign


Shopping Online

You can buy trees, hedging, screening trees, shrubs and topiary online by browsing our website. If you do not see a plant or size that is suitable for you then please call as we stock a wide variety of plants in our tree nursery. It’s worth noting that many other websites sell other people’s stock (i.e. they act as an agent) so you cannot view the products at their own site. At King & Co, all of our advertised plants are available for viewing at our tree nursery in Rayne, near Braintree, situated just over an hours drive out of London. Our knowledgeable and experienced tree nursery staff is always contactable via phone on 01376 340469 or if you have any questions regarding any of our trees or accessories. If you cannot see what you require on our website, please complete the enquiry form. We will give it our urgent attention and will get back to you shortly with a solution that meets your needs.