Trees and other plants

Plants are incredibly important for carbon capture and storage, especially at this critical time where carbon dioxide levels are driving the climate emergency. They also provide food and shelter both while they are alive and dead. For example seeds, berries and fruits are produced at different times of the year. When the tree dies or sheds its branches and leaves they fall to the ground where they become food or shelter for animals that live on the forest floor. Below we have profiles of some of the plants that you may find in Epping forest.

  • Oak

    Easily recognisable from its lobed leaves and acorns in the summer, the Oak tree is one of the most wide-spread species in Epping forest

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  • Beech

    The most colourful canopy in the autumn belongs to the Beech tree. Its seeds known as masts litter the forest floor every year, these were a popular food source for pigs that were put out for pannage.

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  • Hornbeam

    Often confused with the Beech tree, Hornbeam can be told apart by its leaves serrated edges. The word Hornbeam means "hard wood" in fact, it's the hardest of any tree in europe. In late autumn Hornbeam seeds known as "samaras" can be seen spinning as they drift to the ground.

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  • Silver birch

    The white papery bark of the Silver birch makes it stand out in the forest and easy to spot. Known as a "pioneer" species, it is often one of the first trees to grow in an area that is cleared of other plants. Its bark makes an excellent tinder to start a fire.

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  • Other forest trees

    Find out about some of the other trees which grow in the forest.

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  • Forest flowers

    The forest, with its mosaic of different habitats, has a wonderful variety of plants which flower from early spring through to autumn, providing pollen and nectar for many different invertebrates and a beautiful display for humans!

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