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The essential guide to springtime tree planting and finding the ideal tree for your garden

Whether you’re lining the drive, growing a small sanctuary or creating some separation from your neighbours, there’s a tree that's right for you. Here are some of our recommendations for the right tree for the right place.

There is such a wide variety of beautiful garden trees available these days, but not all are suitable for small gardens. Here is our choice of trees for this situation;

  1. Amelanchier laevis ‘Snowflakes’ – With attractive colourful foliage and a mass of large white flowers appearing in April, this beautiful spreading deciduous small tree or large bush is sure to impact your garden.

  2. Cercis canadensis ‘Hearts of Gold’ – Pretty pea-like flowers emerge purple in Spring on bare branches, followed by large, heart-shaped bright golden leaves.

  3. Cotoneaster ‘Hybridus Pendulus’ – A great evergreen / semi-evergreen addition for your garden with arching branches, glossy dark green leaves, white flowers in early summer and bright red fruit in autumn.

  4. Crataegus ‘Paul’s Scarlet’ – One of our best-sellers, this striking small tree is a hit with birds and people alike. Compact, with a rounded crown, it blossoms in early spring with an abundance of vibrant double-pink flowers. Dark green foliage is followed by scarlet haws in autumn.

  5. Malus ‘Indian Magic’ - A stunning variety of crab apple; this small, deciduous tree has bronze, tinged leaves and deep pink flowers, which are followed by an abundance of orange crab apples in the autumn which can be used for jelly.

The chill of autumn mornings and nights is often brightened by the colourful landscapes of the season. The right choice of tree for your garden can add vibrancy through a wonderful array of reds, copper, golds and purples;

  1. Acer griseum – The paperbark maple sheds its peeling cinnamon-coloured bark in pretty thin curls. In late spring, young copper foliage opens with tiny yellow-green flowers. In autumn, the leaves display a firework of colours changing from yellow-green to crimson pink and scarlet red.

  2. Euonymous europeaus ‘Red Cascade’ – Another great tree for a small garden, this Spindle variety has arching branches that can almost droop under the weight of the rosy red fruits with yellow seed pods. In autumn, the foliage turns a rich scarlet.

  3. Liquidamber styraciflua ‘Worplesdon’ – one of the most popular trees planted for autumn colour. It delivers a spectacular display of colours from its star-shaped leaves, from orange and yellow to red and purple.

  4. Sorbus ‘Joseph Rock’ – Most rowan trees are a great bet for autumn interest in the garden; this particularly colourful form is suitable for small to medium-sized gardens. With an upright shape, clusters of creamy yellow fruit becoming orange- yellow as they ripen. Leaves turn shades of red, orange and purple in autumn.

  5. Parrotia persica – the Persian Ironwood is a beautifully small rounded tree that displays autumn colours from crimson, purple red and gold.

An elegant line of statuesque trees can make an entrance infinitely more imposing;

  1. Tilia cordata – A majestic UK native, the small-leaf lime makes for a striking avenue tree. With vibrant, glossy green heart-shaped foliage which turns yellow before leaf fall in autumn. Tolerant of many planting situations and a wonderful tree for wildlife.

  2. Prunus avium ‘Plena’ - A stunning, medium-sized, double flowering cherry with attractive autumnal foliage, often seen throughout our streets.

  3. Betula utilis Jacquemontii – The Himalayan Birch is one of our most popular trees. Commonly planted in urban and avenue planting schemes for its striking crisp white bark, delicate ovate vibrant leaves and pretty catkins. It looks particularly impactful when planted in groups.

  4. Taxus baccata – For an evergreen alternative, English Yew is so versatile it can be shaped into columns, cones, or whatever form is required. Long-lived and very tolerant of hard pruning, this can create a striking avenue for a formal situation.

  5. Acer campestre – Maples and sycamores generally make good avenue trees with their large statuesque forms. Field Maple is a slightly smaller alternative but with an excellent compact, oval form. Small, bright green lobed leaves appear in spring and turn from oranges to yellow and brown before falling in autumn.

Whereas a fence or wall will provide a structural boundary, often we require something a little softer, higher, or with more interest to provide screening and privacy;

  1. Photinia Red Robin – a vibrant alternative to evergreen screening such as laurel, the new growth of photinia emerges glossy red. Clusters of tiny white flowers emerge in late spring, making it an attractive garden screening option. It can be grown on clear stems or as a bush form.

  2. Salix alba Britenzis – Although a deciduous tree, this Scarlet Willow provides ample interest and distraction in winter with its brightly coloured stems. The grey-green foliage appears in early spring and stays until late autumn, giving plenty of cover. It can be pruned hard to encourage a bushier multistem specimen.

  3. Carpinus betulus Fastigiata - This upright form of the popular native Hornbeam tree is a great screening option. Bright green leaves turn coppery gold to orange in autumn. It benefits from regular pruning to maintain the lovely flame shape as it matures.

  4. Quercus ilex – Holm oak is a very popular evergreen tree with serrated leaves and a large rounded, dense crown. Its resistance to salt spray makes it great in coastal regions.

  5. Poplar – Poplar or many varieties make for a great screening tree for larger projects. Due to the size of these trees at maturity, they are best used in larger gardens or field boundaries, but these handsome trees, with upright trunks, provide a statuesque landscape for high screens and windbreaks.

Best Edible Trees

So many fruit and nut trees are available these days that you can fill your garden with and harvest for your own delicious uses. Here are a few of our favourites;

  1. Victoria Plum – An absolute classic and a best seller, this self-fertile tree bears delicious purple-red fruit through August and September that are wonderful for both culinary and dessert uses.

  2. Cox Self-fertile Apple – this self-fertile form of Cox’s Orange Pippin is a popular eating apple that produces reliable crops yearly with excellent flavour. Best when picked and eaten straight from the tree but can be stored and turned into delicious juice.

  3. Concorde Pear – This award-winning self-fertile pear tree produces medium fruit with a sweet, juicy flavour. It is a relatively compact tree, making it a great choice for smaller gardens, and it has beautiful clusters of white blossoms in spring.

  4. Corylus maxima ‘Kent Cob’ - Specifically cultivated for fruit production, the Kent Cob produces a small tree, or large bush, with broad, green leaves. Medium to large nuts in clusters of two to five fruits provides excellent texture and flavour.

  5. Malus Jelly King – A small and compact crab apple with stunning white flowers and orange to red fruit. A great all-round crab apple tree is especially good for making delicious crab apple jelly.

We have plenty more beautiful garden trees to choose from, so browse through our website's ornamental and fruit tree sections. If you would still like some help, please give us a call, and we'd love to hear your plans.

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