Free Tree Scheme


Our Free Tree scheme is run in partnership with the National Forest Company, and the neighbouring authorities of North West Leicestershire District Council and East Staffordshire Borough Council

Applications usually open late Sept and run through to end of October. The Giveaway dates are usually in National Tree Week which runs from late November to early December. We publish the dates when we re-open applications each Autumn as trees will only be available for collection on the stated dates.

Your household, organisation, school or community group must be based within the District of South Derbyshire to be eligible.

 Check out the links to other District pages if you live in North West Leicestershire or East Staffordshire.

All the trees are two years old and approximately 30-60cms (up to two feet) high. We also supply information on how to plant and to look after them. Information for the 2020 scheme can be downloaded here (pdf, 172kb) .

Share your pictures

We have been running the Free Tree Scheme for many years and love to see any photographs of trees you have planted.

Upload them to our Environmental Education Project Facebook page or tweet them to @RoslistonEnvEd.

What trees have been given away in previous years?

Since the scheme began in 2000 we have given away many thousands of baby trees.

The 2020 species were:

ALDER BUCKTHORN Frangula alnus

A deciduous shrub, growing to 3–6 m, occasionally to 7 m tall.  The flowers are small, 3–5 mm diameter, star-shaped with five greenish-white petals, flowering in May to June in clusters. The fruit is a small black berry, which is not edible, ripening from green through red in late summer to dark purple or black in early autumn.

HAZEL  Corylus avellana

 A small, fast growing, native, deciduous tree, that will grow to around 6 metres tall. It has edible nuts in autumn and bright yellow lambs tail catkins in February which provide essential early pollen for bees. A hazel tree can be coppiced to produce straight stakes for hedge laying, runner bean poles etc, but also makes a lovely small tree if left to grow. 

ROWAN  Sorbus aucuparia

A fast growing deciduous tree that will grow to around 15-20metres.

It will make a fine feature in your garden, with white flowers in spring and fruits which are bright red and are carried on large, dense bunches in late summer and autumn. The blossom, spring and autumn leaves and the lovely clusters of red berries make the tree a year–round feature  

Birds love to eat the berries.

They are not edible raw to humans although you can use them to make rowan jelly which goes well with meat dishes.

COMMON SPINDLE Euonymus europaeus

Grows to 3 to 6 m tall. The flowers are produced in late spring and are insect-pollinated; they are small, yellowish green and grow in clusters. The fruit ripens in autumn, and is red to purple or pink in colour and approximately 1 to 1.5 cm wide. When ripe, the four lobes split open to reveal the bright orange seeds (not edible for humans!).

In autumn the leaves usually turn a beautiful bright red colour.

Source for information and images: Cheviot Trees, Woodgrow Horticulture Limited, the Woodland Trust and other advisory websites




  • Alder Buckthorn
  • Hazel
  • Rowan