The HS2 high speed rail link project has launched the procurement of several million trees to plant alongside the line.
Transport minister Robert Goodwill said initially procurement would be for nearly 2m native trees for advance planting alongside the line from London to Crewe.
Around 5m more are to be purchased in the next 10 years to help the route blend into the surrounding landscape.
The contracts are expected to be signed in the autumn so that trees can be grown and will be ready for planting throughout the construction period, which is expected to start in 2018.
HS2 has also announced a shortlist of nine bidders to carry out between £7.1bn and £11.8bn of civil engineering work between London and Crewe and the start of formal tendering for up to £900 million worth of enabling works.
Civil engineering contracts covering the 140 miles from London to Birmingham are expected to be signed in 2017. The line is due to open in 2027.
The first phase of the project is forecast to create 14,600 construction jobs and 2,000 apprenticeships.