Woody plants support livelihoods and the well-being of billions of people worldwide. However, the establishment, management, and use of essential woody species can vary across regions. We sought to describe the diversity and uses of woody species and explore the values for which people maintain and protect these plants. We conducted research in the Awach Sub-county of Uganda, using household interviews with randomly selected informants and applied exploratory quantitative ethnobotany analysis to analyze the survey results. The results revealed 64 multipurpose tree species valued for their material contributions to the households. We outline the key challenges, such as pests, diseases, and lack of infrastructure that hamper the establishment and growth of woody species in the region. Our findings offer insights into potential policy mechanisms targeting the establishment of trees in the region and other parts of Uganda and sub-Saharan Africa.