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Help me choose a small tree!

(47 Posts)
ArseyTussle Thu 29-Dec-16 17:32:24

I have a rowan, a mimosa, and an autumn flowering cherry all in a line (short wide garden and I'm using these for screening).

I have a gap to fill and can't decide what to put in it. Pear? Crabapple? Plum? Something else? I don't have the patience to buy a pine/yew/spruce and wait for it to grow. And I don't want a cypress type conifer.

I think it's probably too windy for a magnolia, otherwise open to ideas!

Trethew Thu 29-Dec-16 17:49:40

Amelanchier Ballerina
Eucalyptus (start small)
Cornus Eddies White Wonder
Betula jacqumontii (hite stemmed birch)
Acer griseum (peeling bark)
Cercis canadensis Forest Pansy

www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=117

ArseyTussle Thu 29-Dec-16 19:56:05

Thanks Trethew, some lovely ideas. I'm keen to get bang for my buck, so more than one season of interest would be great. I love the colour of the acer in autumn, but I think it will get too big.

I'm scared of Eucalyptus!

Trethew Thu 29-Dec-16 22:51:04

I'm nervous of eucalypts too but you can always stool them, which defeats the object of having a tree really.

Amelanchier is hard to beat. It's as tough as old boots and has white blossom, lovely bronzish young foliage, then bluish fruits and good autumn colour. Ballerina and Princess Diana are good clones

shovetheholly Fri 30-Dec-16 08:24:36

In addition to trethew's excellent suggestions, what about something with winter interest? Like the winter-flowering cherry Prunus x subhirtella 'Autumnalis' or 'Autumnalis rosea'? I love the prettiness of these, which seems completely at odds with their flowering season - it is breathtaking to me that something can look so graceful and delicate in the harshest weather conditions over winter! And it gives me a shot of hope in the dark days of the year. You also get nice bronze leaves and that lovely bright seasonal colour in autumn.

ArseyTussle Fri 30-Dec-16 09:32:44

Hi Holly, thanks for pitching in. I already have a winter flowering cherry, and yes, it's lovely!

I love eucalyptus, but the only access to our garden is through the house, so I don't want anything where we might need a tree surgeon/access for a vehicle or equipment.

Will look again at Amelanchier, otherwise any other suggestions for autumn or winter interest? That's how I ended up at crabapple.

L to R we have:
Autumn/winter cherry
gap
Mimosa (evergreen)
Rowan

I also have a teeny dwarf apple elsewhere in the garden.

The white stemmed birch are so beautiful, and as the bottom 4 foot is against a dark painted wall it could look nice, but the foliage is rather boring isn't it?

Smoke bush grown as standard? Do they last long? I love ceanothus but the short lived nature of them puts me off.

ppeatfruit Fri 30-Dec-16 09:40:35

Oh I LOVE the silver birch, though it does get tall and looks best with a 'partner" It's leaves are gold for quite a while in the autumn (depending on the weather of course.

Ceanothus is a shrub really and needs a clayey soil in full sheltered sun. (i've killed 2 in my sandy garden sad)

Acers\maple types can be small and very slow growing if you buy the right type. They are beautiful.

bookbook Fri 30-Dec-16 09:43:44

I was just on another thread , and was recommending not a tree, but a largish shrub - Viburnum perhaps -Farreri or Opulous (Guelder Rose)
But do you need the underneath space?

DayToDayGlobalShit Fri 30-Dec-16 09:44:48

Magnolia. The stellata is a smaller one. Cant remember the name of the larger one, but both very pretty.

DayToDayGlobalShit Fri 30-Dec-16 09:46:55

oh I just re read your OP about the magnolia. I dot photinia around wherever I have a gap too (Red robin)

ArseyTussle Fri 30-Dec-16 10:33:40

Ooh, just googled autumn pictures of viburnum and they are lovely! Would like to have the space underneath if possible to show off my beautiful painted wall, but I'm guessing it is prunable into a tree?

Yes, sad about the wind situation as I LOVE magnolias. Pah.

I love acers too, but they're a bit slow growing as I need screening, I'm hoping to buy a sapling at about 2m, and acers that size are about £200.

ArseyTussle Fri 30-Dec-16 10:45:07

Is nobody excited about fruit trees?

bookbook Fri 30-Dec-16 10:48:10

the Viburnum tend to have multiple stems, but if you got a young one, I don't see why not, though its nice to beable to reach the flowers for the fragrance

bookbook Fri 30-Dec-16 10:49:17

I love fruit trees , and have a few smile - The crab apple I have is John Downie, and that is lovely, until the birds come and strip the fruit !

ppeatfruit Fri 30-Dec-16 14:30:54

The problem with fruit trees IME is that they seem to be sold for professional fruit growers; so they're very small and fruit heavily in the first or 2nd year (which is unnatural) or they don't fruit at all.

I think I made a mistake by buying plum trees from a market nurseryman, they haven't fruited in 7-8 years. The wild ones fruit better!

Maybe go for a hazel tree. There is a lovely curly branched one.

shovetheholly Fri 30-Dec-16 19:32:39

Oops, if I'd read your op properly I'd have known you already had a winter cherry. My apologies! I have guests and am not as attentive as I should be!

I am excited about fruit trees in ornamental gardens! An old Bramley is the centrepiece of mine and it'a brilliant. The blossom is lovely and the fruit are wonderful. I've just been cooking up the last batch for freezing!!

I guess the question with fruit is: is this for cropping? I think we might recommend different varieties for food compared to looks- my guess is you want a bit of both? The question becomes: do you fancy a big old crop of apples, plums, pears,or cherries most? (You can eat amelanchier berries but they aren't necessarily the nicest eating crop you could grow...)

Aftertheraincomesthesun Fri 30-Dec-16 19:42:52

I love fruit trees. We planted an orchard a couple of years ago (14 trees) and are very excited about it. A pear tree is what I would choose if I only had room for one tree.

ArseyTussle Fri 30-Dec-16 21:38:38

I'm not actually bothered about the fruit blush unless it'a something like a crab apple where it's a feature. I just like the blossom and the branch shape.

ppeatfruit Sat 31-Dec-16 11:08:42

An acer or small maple then (forgive me if they're the same thing !)

My pear tree, as I said ,fruits ridiculously heavily for a 2 yr old tree, the pears are delicious but it's only got 5 branches that don't look very attractive yet.

ArseyTussle Sat 31-Dec-16 11:20:08

Ah, good to know about the pear tree. The photos online of the beautiful tear drop shaped ones full of blossom are lovely, but perhaps if it's going to take forever to fill out I might be best going for something else.

I think I'm going to go for a couple of acers for the front garden (whole other story!) where they would be in with a birch, an apple and a sambucus nigra. There's not a screening issue there so it doesn't matter that they grow slowly.

I'm indulging in some Amelanchier porn at the moment, there are so many beautiful types! I'm tempted by the Autumn Glory one, but mail order here is a bit tricky and the only ones I can find so far are the Lamarkii type.

ppeatfruit Sat 31-Dec-16 11:42:44

Yes it depends on the amount you want to pay for the pear tree
of course! Or buy a tiny one!

Oh I was going to say if you've got a mimosa to keep it covered up in this frosty weather, we lost ours after week's frost and we're in mid France!

ArseyTussle Sat 31-Dec-16 12:53:06

Argh! No frost so far here (UK coastal) and it seems to be doing ok. Will keep an eye on the forecast. What do you cover it with? It's a weedy little sapling at the moment. It's the Dealbata one, which I gather is hardier than the purple.

ppeatfruit Sat 31-Dec-16 13:10:07

Maybe put some thick mulch round the roots and that fleece you can get for plants from garden centres. If it's very little an open topped plastic bottle? They are brilliant to protect young plants from slugs too!

buckeejit Sat 31-Dec-16 13:11:53

Snakebark maple

KirstyJC Sat 31-Dec-16 13:15:08

A few months ago I planted a small lilac tree - have you considered that? It says max height and spread is 2.5 metres and I love the smell and look of lilac. There were loads of different varieties all about the same size.

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