Trees add structure to gardens and landscapes. They come in a huge number of varieties, shapes and sizes, and there is one to suit every taste and position imaginable.
Why should I plant them?
Trees offer interest with their leaves, which come in an overwhelming range of sizes, shapes, textures and colours. Many varieties also have attractive seeds, fruit and flowers. And some trees are even praised for their bark and branches.
Some trees flower magnificently in spring, and others burst into vibrant colour in autumn. Trees make good hedges and screens, and some can be used as focal points. They even look good growing in the middle of the lawn!
How should I plant them?
There is a tree that will thrive in all soil types, including wet soil and poor, dry land. They can tolerate clay, sandy and chalky soils, and acidic or alkaline pH.
However, it is important to do your research before you buy a tree. You need to know not only what conditions it likes, but also the full size that the tree will grow to, and the spread of its roots.
Each variety will have specific planting instructions. If you are unsure, look it up in an online plant directory for more detailed advice.
Young trees should also be staked diagonally. This protects them from strong winds, but ensures that roots do not get damaged.
Choosing a tree
If you’re planting a tree, there is much to consider.
Firstly, size matters. If you have a large garden, you may want to choose something that has a tall ultimate height, although it may take a while to reach it. Alternatively, you can plant an older tree that already has more of an established look in your garden.
On the other hand, for small gardens or patio gardens, there are many smaller trees to choose from. With Japanese maples that can be grown in containers, there’s no reason you can’t benefit from the beauty of trees.
Did you know?
Trees can have medicinal purposes! Most people are aware that aspirin is made from willow bark, but did you know that yew can be used in cancer chemotherapy drugs? If you have a yew tree, you can even donate the clippings.
Trees have so much to offer in the garden. With such a wide range available, they can provide fruit, flowers, and foliage. Not only can these elements be enjoyed by us, but garden wildlife too.
David Domoney is a Chartered Horticulturalist, Broadcaster, and Author. David has worked with a number of the UK’s leading garden retailers as a plant buyer and strategic consultant. With more than 30 years experience, in horticulture, David is as passionate about plants now as he was when he bought his first plant at a village fete.
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