Tuesday, November 08, 2022

HISTORICALLY, we have had a strong connection with trees without knowing how vital they are for our existence. Besides that, we enjoy the aesthetics of having them around us and that includes our gardens but they need to be chosen with care to make sure they fit into our available space.

Back yard

Many people that move into a home surrounded by trees love the ambience and feeling of being close to nature but some change their minds after a winter of swaying branches as they think parts of or the whole tree might fall on the house and they then want them removed.


It is one thing inheriting a property with mature trees and it is another where there are none and in that case there is a blank canvas in which to introduce new trees. I would suggest that no large growing trees be planted within the falling distance of any building but within that space smaller maturing and light framed trees, such as garden trees, can be safely planted.

There is something very pleasing about spending time among trees. Think of the change it has on our spirits when out walking in woodland and the after experience leaving you uplifted and energised. The same happens with trees in a garden setting, something that does not occur with any other plants.

Now that we realise that we like trees in our garden the next step is to choose suitable types that please us. The choice is larger than you think. They fall into a number of categories, such as those that can be kept compact by pruning, those that are bred to a shape, those that are slow growing and naturally more compact and those that are really shrubs but in time will reach small tree status at maturity.

Tailored trees

If you like the idea of having some of the larger growing trees without the bother of having to manage them, you might consider those which we call ‘Tailored’ as they are bred to be smaller versions of their larger parents. Some that would suit include Fagus ‘Dawyck’ in green, gold and purple types, Liquidamber ‘Slender Silhouette’, Prunus ‘Amanogawa’, Pyrus ‘Chanticleer’, Quercus palustris ‘Green Pillar’ and Quercus robur ‘Koster’.

Medium trees

These trees can be considered small but, while they have a light frame they can reach 7-8m (21-24’) but do not cause problems planted close to a building. Some of these trees include Acer davidii, Betula (Birch) all types, Gleditsia ‘Sunburst’, Holly, Magnolia (many), Laburnum, Prunus (Cherry – some), Sorbus aucuparia (many) and Sorbus aria (some).

Small trees

The trees in this section are similar to medium trees above but only reach 3-5m (9-15’) and can be planted up to 3m from buildings. A selection of these trees includes Acer griseum and A. palmatum (and varieties), Amelanchier, Cercis, Cornus (some),Crataegus, Prunus (weeping type), Sorbus vilmorinii and ‘Autumn Spire’, and Sambucus.

Shrub trees

In this section we can include shrubs and others that can, with a little pruning, be small trees and they include some evergreens. Apple (fruiting type), Arbutus, Camellia, Euonymus (some), Forsythia, Fuchsia (some), Lilac, Luma (myrtle), Magnolia (some), Pieris, Pittosporum, Prunus incisa and Viburnum (some).


It is easy to become distracted and then you could miss the boat about getting something done and that is the case with planting some spring flowering bulbs. Far too often, and the numbers are increasing, where people will arrive at our nursery looking for bulbs from the New Year onwards but by then it is far too late as they would not grow well and just fade out. There are a limited amount of bulbs still available but do go out and plant them within the next two weeks. If you have any queries or comments you are welcome to share them with me on 051-384273 or [email protected] and if of general interest I will include in a future article.

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