importance of replanting treesThrough our blog, we have covered many different topics and explained the importance of avoiding a tree being damaged. But this avoidance may not always be possible, and sometimes trees will fall and need to be replaced, either due to Tree Pests and Diseases or some other issue. In this situation, replanting new or replacement trees is the best option to ensure that the site still looks the same as it did.

There are also situations where the owner of a site may wish to have a tree felled so that a different tree can be planted, either for design reasons or something else. In this case a felling license would need to be granted, with professional, licensed foresters handling the felling of a tree.

Tree Transplant

Moving trees from one location and replanting them in another is referred to as ‘tree transplanting’. This is usually performed for design reasons but could be for more practical reasons such as a tree that has grown in front of a window, blocking vision out of an office. Tree transplanting can be a difficult process, and it is very often the cause of trauma to the tree being moved and replanted.

If a tree is to be replanted, it is best to ensure it is as healthy as possible and that it is in its dormant season at the time of the replanting. This will give the tree the best chance of not experiencing trauma through the transplantation process.

Felling a Tree

Felling a treeIf the decision has been made to fell a tree, permission needs to be granted through a license by either the Forestry Commission, Natural Resources Wales, or the Forest Service.

Felling licenses can be conditional, which is where permission is granted for the felling only if replanting is going to take place, or they can be unconditional. Unconditional felling licenses are usually issued for silvicultural thinning operations (which is when no woodland loss will happen) or an unconditional license will be granted where there are overriding environmental conditions, such as enabling restoration of important habitats.

Tree felling can be a positive management technique, that helps the health and diversity of trees and their associated wildlife. So long as it is done properly (by a licensed, experienced tree feller), felling a tree is an essential part of woodland ecology and management.

Replanting New or Replacement Trees

When replanting replacement trees, it is important to remember that there could well be differences from the old tree and the new one. Just because the replacement tree is of the same species does not mean it will be the same. It could grow a little differently, or have a bigger/ smaller root protection area, which could cause discrepancies between how you plan the site to look and how it ends up looking.

It is also important to make sure that before the replacement tree is planted that the quality of the soil is checked over and made to be as homely to trees as possible. This will ensure that the replacement tree will have an easy time in its new home and will not fall or be damaged due to bad soil.

When planting a new tree, it is important to get a fresher idea of how the site looks. One of the reasons to use a GIS is that it will make spatial considerations of the site in order to give you the most accurate idea of where trees should be planted and where they shouldn’t. Having a new topographical survey performed is a surefire way of having an up-to-date idea of where there are gaps in the site for new trees to be planted alongside pre-existing ones.

Tree planting is best performed between October and April. It is best to avoid waterlogged or frozen soil to make sure that the tree has quality soil to take to.

For site preparation and a guide on planting a tree, you can check the Trees and shrubs: planting guide from RHS.

It is important to set aside time for aftercare when a new tree is planted. Watering, weeding, and mulching, feeding, and formative pruning are all aspects of the aftercare that is necessary for a new tree to ensure that it takes to its new home well.

Considerations when Replanting New or Replacement Trees

All trees will require an establishment and management plan, which should be between 3-5 years and that should include tree support, watering, weed control, and replacement planting should also take into consideration the function of the tree that has been felled. This should be reviewed on an annual basis and should include any remedial works.


Replanting new or replacement trees is a moderately difficult process, and it is advisable to ensure that qualified, licensed tree fellers and tree surgeons are used for these replanting needs. This ensures that time and money is not wasted if the job is done poorly and ensures that the new tree can be in a healthy environment and benefit the site it is part of.

If you are looking to plant new trees on a site and wish to have an idea of what available space, you have – we advise you to try our GIS software Mapscape. We offer accurate, easy-to-understand tree surveys which will make it clear what areas a new tree could be planted in and the areas where it is best avoided.

Check out our other posts:

What is the BS5837 Standard

The importance of a Tree Survey

5 Reasons to Use a GIS


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