Which tree to choose?

FireFire LondonPosts: 2,576
Afternoon all, I'm pondering buying a tree for a friend (non gardener).

-s/t getting fairly large/wide (size of a mature elder) but not huge (oak or walnut).
-Useful for wildlife - heavy flowering - but not a fruit tree
-low maintenance and unfussy (as he's not a gardener).
-It would be used for gently screening houses behind.
-there are lots of elders around, so s/t different - though it would fit the bill

It's a quite a specific list. Any thoughts?
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Posts

  • Pete8Pete8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 3,220
    Hawthorn?
    Beautiful blossom in the spring, pretty leaves, colourful berries for the birds and wonderful foliage in the autumn.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 45,188
    edited 3 June
    A multistemmed amelanchier  <3  blossom in spring, berries in late summer and wonderful leaf colour in autumn ... and the multi-stemmed one will screen much better than a single stemmed variety ... at least it does here  :)
    If you stop taking chances, you'll stay where you sit. You won't live any longer, but it'll feel like it.” 
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,631
    edited 3 June
    One of the amelanchiers may suit.  If you can find a cultivar which has the required growth habit, they have interest most of the year, including berries for the birds.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 1,695
    Crabapple. 
    Utah, USA.
  • blameitonthedogblameitonthedog Posts: 55
    I too would suggest one of the Amelanchiers.  We have one the slightly smaller varieties but it is absolutely beautiful for both blossom and autumn colour and exceptionally tolerant.

    My neighbour has beautiful Hawthorn trees but boy do they make a mess when the blossom drops.. And I say that as someone who doesn't fuss about about a bit of a mess generally speaking.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 2,576
    fab. thanks
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 2,576
    I think we will go for Amelanchier lamarckii as it's the tallest one we can find and will screen the neighbours' various sheds.

    Is there not virtue in encouraging one strong trunk, rather than having multi-stems? The eye sores we are trying to screen are two metres high, above and beyond the fence line. I would imagine that late autumn would be the best time to plant...
  • The Bald GardenerThe Bald Gardener South West ScotlandPosts: 212
    Bonsai?  

     ;) 
  • Freddies DadFreddies Dad LarbertPosts: 699
    Hawthorn, if it was not a U.K. native would be much more feted as it is a small tree, flowers well, prunes well and is long lived. So I am glad to see some people here recommending it.

    i had a few Amelanchier at my old garden, one grew quite fast but a group of them that I planted together to give a multistem look took a kept longer to grow. I did buy as small trees.
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 679
    I went for a small group of hazel in one corner of the garden and hawthorn in the other. Planted in groups of 2 or 3 you can coppice on rotation to keep them nice and bushy at low level while still having height all the time to give maximum screening of the miserable baggage who live in the house behind me... or sheds, whatever the problem may be :|  Hazel rods are useful to have in the garden too.
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