Trees: the kings and queens of the garden

Planting a tree is one of the most life affirming and creative things anyone can do. It’s important to think carefully about choosing and planting a tree. If it’s done right, your tree will bring pleasure to you and to future generations. If it’s done wrong, it’ll be a bit of a headache!

Designing with trees:

If you’re designing, or re-designing a garden, and want to include a tree, start with this first. Once you’ve chosen where your tree will go, then design the other elements around it. Choosing a tree is a big decision, so take your time and do your research. Think not only about the soil type and situation, but the season of interest. For example, you could choose a tree with blossom in the spring and berries in the autumn (such as a whitebeam), or one with beautiful autumn colour and lovely bark, such as an acer.

Choosing your tree:

Most of us have small gardens, and need to plant small trees in them. However, be cautious about the size of the tree given on websites – this depends a lot on the local conditions, the wind, the soil etc and can often be an overestimate. It’s better to see if you can find a mature example of the same species growing nearby – this will give you a rough idea of how big it will get. Don’t worry too much either about scare stories of trees damaging foundations – this is only really a problem on shrinkable clay, which we don’t have around here.

If you want to get a tree for your garden, we can have a look at some suitable species. There are plenty to choose from!

Buying your tree:

I’d always recommend buying from a reputable nursery, which will also be able to give you plenty of advice and tell you what’s suitable for your garden.

And finally:

If you have a mature tree you don’t like, or feel is out of place, consider having it professionally pruned before assuming it must be removed. A good tree surgeon can do wonders!

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