Trees and Timber

Combining forestry, arboriculture, harvesting and timber processing businesses, the trees and timber industry contributes more than £286 million to the UK economy. It employs an estimated 22,452 people through 3,920 businesses.

The care, maintenance and management of trees, woodlands and forests and the production of wood and greenwood products.

The trees and timber workforce includes:

  • Tree surgeons
  • Timber harvesting contractors
  • Tree establishment contractors
  • Social forestry groups
  • Local authority tree or woodland officers
  • Forestry work for the forestry commission and on private estates.


Trees and Timber Facts

  • 44% of the industry workforce is self employed – the national average is 13%
  • 20% of the workforce are women
  • 53% of the workforce is over the age of 40, only 11% are under the age of 25
  • 93% of businesses employ less than 10 staff.


Did you know?

  • Woodland accounts for approximately 12% (some 2,800,000 hectares) of land area in the UK. This compares to 28% in France, 32% in Germany and 74% in Finland
  • About 75% of the UK population (aged 16 or over) will visit a woodland at some point during the year
  • Although the trees and timber industry contributes £4.3 billion to the Gross National Product, the UK is one of the largest net importers of forest products, alongside China, the USA and Japan
  • Forestry will play an increasingly important role in combating climate change, for example by carbon ‘lock up’ and from the production of wood fuel. The industry will also be important in terms of protection of the environment and providing opportunities for recreation
  • A mature beech tree (100years old), 20metres high with a crown of 12 metre diameter will have in the region of 600,000 leaves. On a sunny day it will convert 18kg (9,400 litres) of carbon dioxide, producing 13kg of oxygen; comparable to the needs of 10 people. To replace such a tree would need 2000 young trees if each had a canopy volume of 1m3.


What we can do for you

We work hard to create opportunities so you can make the most of training. After all, businesses who train their staff are two and a half times more likely to succeed than those who don’t.

We can help you:

  • Develop the skills to meet the future challenges of trees and timber
  • Ensure your staff have the right skills to help your business grow
  • Find funding that may be available to you
  • Find the training and development you need
  • Keep your workplace safe.


Industry Links