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2 small trees for 6 x 12m garden. Both similar or different?

(10 Posts)
erebus Thu 26-May-11 07:55:56

I have a smallish garden with a hard-standing that will become a patio in the far left corner. I want to place 2 trees, one in front of the standing, one to the right (as you look at it from the house) so you'll look through the 2-3m gap formed by these trees onto the patio.

Now, should I get two similar appearance trees (if not identical) or go for 2 quite different ones?

Naturally both must have an upright habit and moderate overall height.

We have been thinking:
Silver birch, white trunk variety
Silver birch, red trunk
Mountain ash
..for examples

Thanks for any input

GrimmaTheNome Thu 26-May-11 08:17:45

I'd go for different trees, so that their periods of interest aren't exactly the same.

We have a silver birch, a yellow berried sorbus (TBH I wish now we'd got normal red mountain ash), and have recently got a whitebeam, which is also in the sorbus family but looks quite different, larger silvery green leaves - as the guy in the nursery who advised us said, its a pretty tree.

If I was getting two trees at the same time I'd consider fruit trees too - many aren't self-fertile so rarely a good idea to get just one.

swallowedAfly Thu 26-May-11 08:22:40

Message withdrawn

GrimmaTheNome Thu 26-May-11 08:40:55

Mountain ash is rowan. Its a small tree versus an oak or beech.
Silver birch is probably about 50% bigger than rowan, but some of the red (or lovely chestnut) trunked birches are usually quite a bit smaller.

I'm rubbish at imagining what 6x12m looks like so don't know if they are the right scale but presumably the OP has/will look at mature trees of the types mentioned.

Cherry can be nice but they tend to be a bit wide for their height.

A lot of people with kids won't want laburnum because of the poisonous seeds - not that I've ever heard of a kid eating them.

One other thing to take into consideration - ask advice at the nursery - is what the roots are like. Some trees really shouldn't be planted near houses, and so presumably could affect the patio. We were told the whitebeam had non-spreading roots so was good.

swallowedAfly Thu 26-May-11 09:20:13

Message withdrawn

AMumInScotland Thu 26-May-11 09:49:13

You can get varieties of rowan which won't grow so tall - we have one in our garden. I can't remember quite how big it's meant to end up, but much less than the ordinary native ones.

BeeBopBunny Thu 26-May-11 09:56:36

How about an amelanchier? They stay small, have lovely blossom and berries and fantastic autumn colour.

Cattleprod Thu 26-May-11 10:06:04

I'd get two trees in completely different colours, and plant the taller one at the back. So if you're having a silver birch, then maybe get a red japanese maple, or a yellowy ginkgo biloba (not sure how big they get eventually but very pretty), and I'd also put some contrasting grasses underneath in blue/green, black, yellow/green etc, preferably with interesting seedheads.

smashingtime Fri 27-May-11 12:42:11

I've got 5 trees along the back of my small garden for privacy and they are all different. We also have a Sorbus aria - very pretty and upright and I also have several cherries and a Robinia which is very attractive. All are suitable trees for a small garden and according to the garden centre have roots that are not too invasive.

erebus Fri 27-May-11 13:41:53

Thanks for the input everyone. Any more always welcome too, of course!

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