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Tree advice

(15 Posts)
lasttimeround Wed 10-Aug-16 09:23:20

We are slowly turning the swimming pool of decking in our new home back into a garden. Pulled up half the decking and put down lawn dnd borders.
There is a tree which is lovely in spring when it's full of blossom but I find it ugly in summer when it has small red leaves. We plan at some point to take out a rickety shed and put in a shed with a storage bit and a hit for seating with some glass/ sunhouse element as it's cold up here in Scotland. I'm not sure yet exactly where we will put that.

I'd like to replace the red tree with 3 or 4 silver birches. Currently thinking I could buy some very wee ones and put them in pots on the decking - planting them when bigger and it's finally time to put in new shed snd chop down the red tree.

I've seen some v small and cheap ones on mail order trees 7.99 each. Is it worth buying them at this point in the year still or will they die in pots over winter? Also any comments on overall plan? I feel a bit bad to chop the tree down as it's the only really established plant in the garden but on the other hand I do find it ugly and would find a group of birches lovely and somehow really fitting as my husband is Swedish and silver birches are everywhere there.

lasttimeround Wed 10-Aug-16 13:43:31

Anyone please if I buy these
and keep in pots will they die over winter? I live in edinburgh

PoshPenny Wed 10-Aug-16 13:51:34

Before you plant 4 silver birches, please think about the size of your garden and the expected size of the tree in 30-50 years time. If you plant them too close together then they will never thrive. I've no advice about container grown silver birches, Other than I would guess they would need very large pots to accommodate the roots

JT05 Wed 10-Aug-16 16:20:00

We had a 100ft garden with 6 silver birches along one side. They were huge when we moved in the house was 21 years old and the trees were newly planted when it was built.

They grow quite fast and can rot at the base, we had them inspected by a tree surgeon every couple of years.

traviata Wed 10-Aug-16 19:05:14

If they have been grown in pots so far they can stay in pots for a while longer. You won't be able to put bare root trees into pots, they will not adapt.

Have you thought about the time for them to reach a reasonable height? JT05 is absolutely right, they do grow quite fast - but that is 'fast for a tree'.

They take about 6-8 years to reach full height. So if they are wee now they will still be wee for several years to come - is that what you want?

JT05 Wed 10-Aug-16 20:05:38

Ours ended up higher than the house. They were beautiful, but not the sort of tree where you can ignore their maintenance safely.

They also have small catkin the flowers that fall everywhere in spring and seeds that fall from mid summer onwards. All alfresco dining had to be under a gazebo/ sunshade, unless you liked the added seed!

lasttimeround Wed 10-Aug-16 20:06:02

All good points. I thought birches were quite small trees. I'll need to check. I love the birches I see in Sweden snd thought they are nice garden suitable trees. I then saw then the clumps of thrm planted in front of the tate modern and thought I'd like something like that. I think they were planted a decade ago - ish? Still quite small but it's still big space.
I thought I'd get them big in pots. Finally if they get too big over 20 years I guess one or 2 will go. But over time replace have a plan to replace the tree I don't like without having a period of just nothing. The garden lacks structure just now with nothing large or permanent in it apart from the tree.

I guess I can contact the mail order tree thing and ask if the treesame would survive in pots. I grew up in the tropics.I find this season thing totally new.

lasttimeround Wed 10-Aug-16 20:07:00

Any suggestions for other garden trees?

JT05 Wed 10-Aug-16 20:52:22

Rowen, also known as mountain ash are quite small trees and grow quite slowly. Blossom in spring and berries later on.

redhat Wed 10-Aug-16 20:56:22

Silver birches are very shallow rooted. As such, what looks like a perfectly healthy tree can come down unexpectedly in strong winds.

We have lots (woodland) and every year three or four will come down. Unless you have a vey large garden I wouldn't recommend them.

Liara Wed 10-Aug-16 20:59:43

How big is your garden? And how far from the house would these trees be? Roots can be an issue in trees that are too close to the house. Do you want to provide shade?

I have a few field maples which were quite small when we moved in 12 years ago, now they are medium sized and very pretty.

Robinias are also very pretty, not too huge trees.

ClarkL Thu 11-Aug-16 11:53:25

I do agree about the size to an extent, we have 5 in our front garden mixed with a few other trees and just before we moved in (2 years ago) they were 'topped' probably needs doing again next year to stop them getting too big.

We also have Rowan tree's which the blackbirds love (i've been watching a male and female gorge on them for the last 2 days!) but I don't find them a satisfying 'tree' there's several in a clump and they always seem a bit straggly.

What do you want the trees for? Might give us an idea of what to recommend. My biggest bit of advice - make sure they are planted hammock length apart! We're about to take 2 plums out as they are diseased and im gutted none others are planted in a suitable place or distance for the hammock

lasttimeround Sun 14-Aug-16 07:33:12

This is looking far more complicated than I'd realised. I have a very disabled dd who mouths robinia and rowan pose risks. I always thought of birches as quite small but now realise they are slender but can get really tall. I'm liking the red leaf tree much more now. It's a good shape for the garden and lovely in all seasons but summer.maybe I just need to accept that.
I wanted a tree for height and because trees are lovely but the garden isn't huge. Maybe 8 by 6 metres and shade isn't what we want - it's cold here and I love sun. I am keen on some upright lines and the feathery leaves but maybe some grasses or bamboo are easier for that. I'm growing some climbers too so that will help with covering walls.
Thsnks for all the comments - really useful.

lasttimeround Sun 14-Aug-16 07:34:27

We have a big wooden fence around the garden. Next year's priority is dome hammock loops in the fence posts clark

aircooled Sun 14-Aug-16 12:04:03

You could plant a multi-stemmed himalayan birch which would give the impression of a group of trees and might not get as tall. Not Swedish though...

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