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Please recommend me a lovely garden tree

(20 Posts)
Selenium Sun 18-Jan-15 08:41:18


I have space at the back of the garden for a new tree and I am looking for recommendations, please!

I'd like something small-medium that will provide some screening from the road behind (so possibly evergreen or semi-evergreen) and some shade in the garden. Possibly also one that is attractive at different times of the year.

The only idea I've come up with so far from hours of research is a Cotoneaster Cornubia, trained as a tree. But I don't think I've ever actually seen one of these in real life so would be a bit of a guess. Has anyone got one of these and can recommend it? If not, I would love to know what other trees people would recommend?

Thank you!

G4nna Sun 18-Jan-15 11:00:56

I strongly recommend a Photinia Red Robin

You may have to cut and paste the link. I have one of these in my garden and although strictly speaking a shrub, it's not hard to cut off the lower branches and train it into a standard or tree shape (lots on the web how to do). It has lovely big shiny leaves which turn red in autumn and stay on all year. It flowers, sometimes it has berries, it's very hardy. What more could you ask?

Incidentally, I have trained mine along wires into a bower! Good luck with it.

G4nna Sun 18-Jan-15 11:01:53

Oh! Nope, the link works! Ta da... smile

Ferguson Sun 18-Jan-15 20:07:29

We used to have one similar to this, and it has good autumn colour. I don't know the different varieties of it though:

We also like acers, particularly cut-leaved and red ones.

Oooh - here's some nice ones:

funnyperson Sun 18-Jan-15 20:41:30

An evergreen magnolia grandiflora?
Ceanothus? (blue flowers in spring)
A large leaved rhodedendron? eg sinesis? (pale white/pink flowers in spring)

Or a fruit tree: though not evergreen will be good in spring and autumn! eg plum, pear, damson, quince, crabapple, apple

Selenium Mon 19-Jan-15 14:15:35

Thank you so much - you have all given me some lovely new ideas, some of which I hadn't even thought of - e.g. Mahonia as a large shrub to screen or an Evergreen Magnolia. Off to the garden centre later, I think to see what I can find!

Selenium Mon 19-Jan-15 14:16:28

Ooh, and I agree with the Red Robin - lovely as a standard tree. We already have one in the corner of our garden and it's great but I think I'd like something different this time.

nonicknameseemsavailable Sun 01-Feb-15 00:04:14

we have a cottoneaster cornubia thing in our garden and it is a pretty tree and quite an interesting shape - was planted 3 years ago, not grown much since (it was about 6ft tall when we bought it). My favourite tree in the garden is a Forest Pansy but sadly it isn't evergreen. We also have a magnolia grandiflora Exmouth which is beautiful, don't get many flowers (all the trees were only planted 2-3 years ago) but it is lovely to look at even just as leaves. My mum used to have a red robin and I loved it but they were more expensive so we had to go with other things instead. We also have an Indian Bean tree and a small eucalyptus (which I had no idea flowered with the most amazingly beautiful little red frilly flowers)

ladybird69 Fri 13-Feb-15 23:52:14

Came on to say magnolia. Recently moved and left the most beautiful and huge magnolia there. It was right in front of my bedroom so I used to hide bird food treats all over it. The little birds loved it, I miss it. I've got thicko wood pigeons in my new garden! Constantly rescuing them after they knock themselves out on the patio doors!

echt Sat 14-Feb-15 02:41:52

Magnolias are lovely, but think of your position when planting. They are not keen on being pruned and send up ugly watershoots that spoil the naturally beautiful shape of the branches.

WhatsGoingOnEh Sat 14-Feb-15 02:54:31

I love camellias. Evergreen, with beautiful flowers once or twice a year. My ideal garden would only have camellias in it! I love them.

Bolshybookworm Sun 15-Feb-15 17:11:19

If you live down south you could think about a pittosporum- they have lovely little rounded leaves. They're not super-hardy IME, so not great if you live up north. There's also Garrya, which has lovely long, grey catkins. Don't forget the pines as well, there are lots of lovely and unusual ones, in all different shapes and sizes.

I'm struggling to think of others as I'm not a big fan of evergreens (I love autumn colour). Could recommend you about a million deciduous trees!

shovetheholly Tue 17-Feb-15 08:40:21

Pittosporum is a lovely recommendation. I have a silver one that I've managed to get through 3 winters in the northern wastes - I think they are a little more robust than rumoured!

OP, how about going for a combination of a stunning deciduous tree with year-round interest, and an evergreen shrub which would give you screening? That way you would get a fuller canopy in the summer when you say you want shade (be careful what you wish for here!), but higher light levels in the winter when you might welcome a bit more sky. You could go for a deciduous tree with all-round interest, like an Amelanchier (as a PP has suggested) or one of the flowering ornamental cherries with wonderful blossom and bark. If you have a LOT of space, then the wedding cake Cornus is very lovely.

Then you could use an evergreen shrub alongside it for more privacy in the winter. Am tempted to suggest Daphne as it smells so lovely, but it may be a bit small and slow-growing for your purposes. The Viburnum tinus gets bigger and gives you a lovely froth of white flowers right in Jan/Feb, which is very welcome at a time of year when nothing much is happening. Garryas, as a PP has suggested, are also very lovely and seem to have done amazingly this winter. Also, Choisya ternata - the Mexican orange blossom- is evergreen with lovely leaves and highly fragrant late spring flowers.

Bolshybookworm Tue 17-Feb-15 11:37:38

Ooh, prunus serrula has lovely bark, really beautiful.

PestoSnowissimos Tue 17-Feb-15 11:52:23

I want a blossoming fruit tree for my front garden, but our soil is really chalky. Anyone got any suggestions for me please?

Bolshybookworm Tue 17-Feb-15 12:51:03

What about an apple? I think they grow on chalk (have limited knowledge of chalk as I live in an acidic bog grin), and apple blossom is lovely. I like it more than cherry even, it looks so fresh. Heralds spring for me!

PestoSnowissimos Tue 17-Feb-15 13:09:02

Yes I think either an apple or a cherry tree probably smile

Moniker1 Tue 17-Feb-15 13:14:23

Amelanchier is always recommended by garden progs as it is not too big, has pretty flowers in spring and turns reddish in autumn. Can't give the type but the ones in the garden centres are usually the ones with the slightly bigger flower.

I had a eucalyptus and it grew huge very quickly - thought I would trim it regularly for the dainty new leaves for flower arranging. It was 30 ft in no time but fortunately died in that really cold December a few years back.

MooMoi Tue 17-Feb-15 14:34:34

Another vote for Amelanchier, I've planted a couple in a mixed hedge and they are great, something for every season.

ArcheryAnnie Tue 17-Feb-15 14:42:34

Apple tree! One preferably that is reasonably local to where you live.

You get a lovely tree, apples in autumn, the best blossom of any tree ever in spring, and lovely shaped branches.

You can also choose variety depending on what size tree you want to end up with.

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