Is it acceptable to plant trees in a front garden?

(17 Posts)
lostindubai Mon 16-May-16 13:20:19

Fruit trees to be precise. We live in a quiet road in a village but our back garden isn't very big. We need that space for the kids to play in so I'm thinking I could use my front garden (which is a fair size) to plant some fruit trees (which I love). Has anyone else done this? What would the neighbours think?! Most of their front gardens are now tarmac/driveways which I think is a shame.

shovetheholly Mon 16-May-16 13:28:27

Yes, absolutely, if you have the space! Have a look at the different rootstocks, as these generally determine height and spread - and choose one that will look in proportion to the house (and meet the requirements of insurance companies not to have very tall trees within a few metres of the front wall). Even small apple trees produce a fair bit of fruit if they're looked after.

The only thing is that it's probably the social thing to clear up any stray fruit/leaves in the autumn so drains aren't blocked and pavements are clear. This takes all of 2 minutes though.

peardroplets Mon 16-May-16 14:17:34

We are thinking of doing exactly the same! It didn't even occur to me to think it would be frowned upon. The blossom would be a lovely feature in a front garden.

GreenMarkerPen Mon 16-May-16 14:21:07

you can get small rootstock (proper nurseries can advise) trees. even more space saving as espalier (already trained or train yourself).
you can also have different kinds of apple on one tree!

MyLocal Mon 16-May-16 14:24:35

Do make sure you pick dwarf type species. I have a dwarf plum tree (its pretty damn big now too) and also a dwarf apple. The apple is in the front and is fairly small, really pretty and produces masses of blossom and fruit.

I have seen cherry trees in the front that look lovely for a few years then have got a bit out of hand so pick your type carefully and it will be gorgeous.

fiorentina Mon 16-May-16 19:16:33

It isn't the best time of year to plant bare root fruit trees, they should be planted when dormant? But we planted some small apple trees earlier in the year. You may know this but you need trees that cross pollinate or whether they are self fertilising.. They'd look lovely in a front garden.

lostindubai Wed 18-May-16 17:39:52

Thanks for your advice and comments, glad they're all positive! I've never had a front garden before so I was just a bit nervous about kerb appeal I guess. I won't be doing any planting for a while as we have house interior and a newborn to concentrate on first. Is autumn the best time of year then?

Also, what else can I add? I had been thinking of a bank of lavender across the very front, but not sure if that would look right with the trees? Trying hard and failing to visualise it! Ideas welcome. Oh, I prefer native species btw, and want to attract bees/butterflies if possible.

shovetheholly Wed 18-May-16 17:44:34

It honestly depends which tree you choose, and what look you'd like and what space you have! It might be worth looking on Pinterest for some inspiration, then posting us a picture of the kind of look you like! It also matters what way the garden faces and what kind of soil you have. smile Lavender likes hot sunny conditions (ideally south-facing) and free drainage. You may struggle to grow it well on a north-facing slope on heavy clay in northern Scotland!

What I can guarantee is that there will be plants ideally suited to your conditions and you can make it lovely!

lostindubai Sun 22-May-16 11:06:03

The front garden is south facing and we live in Essex. How would I find out what type of soil we have?

There are already two old lavenders but they're past their best so we'll have to start again.

I will look on pinterest when I get the time. Thanks for the tip.

AlmaMartyr Sun 22-May-16 11:16:29

Apparently trees in front of a house make it look bigger. We have a large front garden and planted 3 apple trees and 2 pear trees. It looks lovely, was done under advisement from an arboriculturalist (my DBro!) and gets lots of compliments. A few apples have been nicked but not too fussed about that in honesty.

GreenMarkerPen Sun 22-May-16 12:33:18

you can get soil testing kits in diy/garden stores.
or look around what grows well in your area.

DoreenLethal Sun 22-May-16 12:40:45

You can plant fruit trees from pots at any time of year.

Bare root are better from dormant during Novemberish time.

Florinda2016 Sun 22-May-16 12:45:03

I'd guess you are probably on clay.

dudsville Sun 22-May-16 12:48:04

What a lovely idea! We have a council maintained (they mow every couple of months and leave the mess behind!) grass verge outside ours. Some people have trees in theirs and I'm wondering if I can put some in ours.

lostindubai Sun 03-Jul-16 19:20:50

Right, I've measured the patch and it's around 8 x 8 metres. Enough for about 3 trees do you think?

Dowser Tue 12-Jul-16 14:01:55

Sounds lovely.

What I would never do is have big trees close to the house. My bungalow is dwarfed by neighbours trees. Huge sycamore, lime tree, an apple or hard out of control. I love trees but hate them less than 15 feet from my house.

PurpleWithRed Tue 12-Jul-16 14:10:51

3 is possible but ONLY on dwarfing rootstock. Also if you want fruit you may need to choose complementary varieties so they pollinate each other, or make sure you choose self-fertile ones. Strongly suggest you choose your fruit (apples? plums greengages? cherries? pears? figs?) and come back here for more advice for the perfect combination!

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