When choosing a tree for your
garden, remember to choose a
tree that will fit into the space you
have available. Remember to
check their ultimate height and
spread, for although all trees
start small, many like these
Monkey Puzzles can grow into
When choosing a tree for ‘your ground’ it is
essential to think about the roles the tree will
serve. Many objectives can be met at once –
good autumn colour, a pleasing shape, shade
and wildlife benefits are all possible from a
single, well-chosen tree. The ideal is to plant
a tree that can grow to full maturity with
little or no tree surgery. Mistakes in planting
a tree are long-lasting, expensive and
difficult to rectify.
Fuelled by greenhouse gases and global
warming, the rate of climate change in
Britain is accelerating. As trees take many
years to mature, it is important to consider
what you are planting now as they will reach
maturity in a climate that may be very
different from the one in which they were
planted. Currently there are 2,500 different
trees that grow well in British soil, and so
amongst them will be those that are more
adaptable to the changing climate.
Some of the primary considerations to
consider when choosing a tree for your
garden are the space you have – the type
of tree, size, shape and proximity to any
buildings and structures. Pick a tree that is
suitable i.e., not too big or too small. Make
your choice before you get to the garden
centre or place you are buying it or you
may end up choosing the wrong tree.
The local library can often be a good
source for your research. Careful thought
is critical to the equation. Other questions
to ask yourself are whether you want any
colour; do you want it to be good for
wildlife; or should it occupy all the space
you have available or perhaps just some
of it? Will branches interfere with buildings
and wires? Will the view that you value so
much disappear as the tree becomes too tall
or too wide?
Whatever your requirements now, these
could change in the future. For example,
if the climate gets hotter, you could very
possibly require more shade in your garden,
both to preserve whatever you have planted,
but also for your own personal benefit.
With this particular scenario it would be
important to find trees that perhaps would
not become massive but would, at the same
time, fill your criteria.
Trees are ideal buffers to control wind.
For example, if you plant a lot of trees on
the downwind side of your garden, into
the wind, it will make your garden more
sheltered. If you live by the sea, they will
not only provide shelter, but will also stop
large amounts of salt getting into your
soil, enabling your garden to flourish.
Sycamores, as an example, are good for
restricting salt damage.
The condition of the soil is also worth
consideration. Although most soils can
cope, there are some trees that prefer
particular soils. Thought also needs to be
given as to whether you will be prepared to
take the tree down when it stops fulfilling
whatever it is that you wanted it to do.
Another important consideration is that
once planted, you may find that it has a
preservation order put on it or the local
council prevent you taking it down even
if you want to.
Although there is no doubt that there
will be a climate change in the future,
there is uncertainty, as there are several
different climate models, as to what will
actually happen over the next 50 years,
so be prepared.
Web site created by Mark Griffin