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Palm tree (cordyline australis) or what alternative in a small garden?

(6 Posts)
catbasilio Thu 24-Mar-16 13:57:58

All of a sudden I thought that a tall palm tree (cordyline australis) would look lovely in my small garden (18ft x 18ft) and especially as it does not take lots of space because the cabbage is at the top!

Since it is not an usual choice, it feels like I am being over ambitious? Is there an alternative of evergreen narrow tall mushroom type of tree? I would like to avoid deciduous flowering tree - there is a big one just behind my fence.

P.S. would love something useful like apple or almond tree but afraid there is no space as the tree has to be planted in the flower border near the wall.

Cathpot Thu 24-Mar-16 18:45:57

Could you espalier an apple along the fence? Easy to do- choose a young tree with branches that are in a useful orientation or mostly coming out on opposite sides and then just plant and train the young branches among wires. I've done this with an apple and also with almond trees.

Cathpot Thu 24-Mar-16 18:57:38

Also my grandad used have trained pear trees absolutely covered in fruit. I do get fruit on my almonds but not really sure how to deal with them, I'm mostly using them as a screen to cover an ugly wire fence ---they have pretty blossom.

catbasilio Tue 29-Mar-16 23:52:41

Thank you Cath. Interesting but probably too high grade for me to train trees.
I finally found a perfect small tree! It is called Liquidambar Styraciflua Gumball. Just need to save up and buy a decent size!

Cathpot Wed 30-Mar-16 22:27:52

I've just looked it up and it is lovely! Our holly tree fell down in the storm so we are on the look out for a tree ourselves - Ive added it to the possible list so thank you for that.

shovetheholly Thu 31-Mar-16 14:48:32

Oooh, I love a liquidambar. You won't regret it in the autumn, with all those amazing colours.

However, I remember years ago I was helping out with the project management of a public garden in London and we were considering various liquidambars and I'm sure I remember that some of those that have the look of a standard, i.e. a ball on a very long stem, are actually grafted onto another rootstock. I don't know if this has changed - it was about 10 years ago now! But if you are after the most dramatic lollipop shape, do look into it!

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