Have you been thinking about planting a tree recently, we’re still in tree planting season, so maybe I can persuade you?
Firstly, there are a whole range of benefits:
- it’ll provide food and shelter for birds and small animals
- choose a fruit tree and enjoy the crops as well as all the other advantages
- from a design point of view a tree provides height, stature and can be very shapely, like the Magnolia tree above.
- some trees have wonderfully textured bark, like this Betula nigra Little King
- they mark the change in seasons with autumn colour or spring flowers
- a tree provides very welcome shade in the summer
- they help to soak up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere
A tree has a big impact on a garden, which is a good thing, but can also be quite daunting. To help you choose the right tree for you and your garden there are some things to consider to help you narrow down the choice:
- the ultimate size of the tree
- is the soil generally wet or dry?
- will it be close to buildings?
- will it be planted in sun or shade?
The ideal time to plant a tree is in the autumn or early spring, winter is ok as long as the ground isn’t frozen.
If you need more to tempt you, how about Pyrus salicifolia Pendula:
it has beautiful silver/grey leaves, white flowers in spring and small inedible pears . If left to it’s own devices its’ branches reach down to the ground so it needs trimming if you want to sit under it.
Multi -stemmed trees with interesting bark create nice tall shapes without casting too much shade.
and if you don’t have much space, you can grow a Japanese maple in a container
Magnolias love any moist, but well-drained fertile soil that’s not too dry or alkaline. height 4 – 15 x spread 3-10 metres.
Pyrus salicifolia Pendula aren’t too fussy aboutthe soil, but they like to be in sun, height 9-12 x spread 6-8 metres.
Betula nigra Little King likes a moist soil and plenty of sun, height 3-4 x spread 4-5 metres.
Surely every garden needs at least one tree.
all images: Jill Anderson