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birch tree / tree for small garden

Paul515Paul515 Posts: 18
hi all

advice plse - i wanted to plant a silver birch at the back of a relatively small garden.  Was planning on planting 1m or so from any fencing (I don't over look another garden) and also a 1 metre or so from a green house.  It is a good 10-12 metres from the house but wanted to check if that felt ok?

If not any recommendations for any trees that grow upright and have some spread in terms of branches but suited for a smaller garden (North west UK)?



  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,923
    Silver birch can grow huge.

    I'd go for this  - the upright form of the Amelanchier 

    Amelanchier canadensis 'Rainbow Pillar'  .... also known as 'Glenform' 


    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,146
    In 1988 I planted four birch trees in my (fortunately) large garden ; they are now approaching 60' high and very elegant , but be warned . Pruning entirely ruins the overall shape of birch .
    I think there is a pendulous form , Betula pendula 'Youngii' or something like that ; this can be a bit more restrained and even pruned carefully ; makes a small dome shaped tree with all the benefits (bark and autumn colour) of the larger versions !
  • Paul515Paul515 Posts: 18
    thanks all for your help
  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053
    One metre away from your greenhouse is far too close!  Regardless of which tree you choose.
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • I agree with Dove - silver birch is a big tree and not suited to a small garden.  Buckingham Nurseries have an excellent catalogue (you can request it online) of bare root trees (a third of the price of potted ones) indicating which are evergreen, loved by birds, bear fruit etc giving ultimate size and spread.  I have just bought a cotoneaster cornubia (almost evergreen and with lovely berries) and a sorbus Pink Pagoda (pink berries in autumn).  Amelanchia is also an excellent choice but it loses it's leaves in winter.  Very pretty white flowers in spring and good autumn colour too.
  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Posts: 8,306
    I'd have thought the distance from the greenhouse is the main problem; if any bits fall off the tree, they may go through the glazing.  Any tree might cause this, not just a birch.

    In Scandinavia, many houses are built in birch woods, with the trees sometimes less than a metre from the house wall.  It's not considered a problem; maybe there isn't clay subsoil causing problems with subsidence?

    We stayed in this one on holiday in Finland.   :)
    Since 2019 I've lived in east Clare, in the west of Ireland.
  • Paul515Paul515 Posts: 18
    looks amazing there

    i really like the chinese ruby birch
  • I agree with Liri too - your main problem is the proximity of the planted tree to the greenhouse.  We have plenty of trees in our garden and shade is always a problem, something else to consider next to your greenhouse.  Get the tallest stick or stake that you can find and hammer it into the soil where you plan to plant the tree and watch where the shadows casts at different times on a sunny day, then multiply that to close on 60 foot and you will see just how far the shadow from one tree will take you towards your house.  Silver Birches are lovely trees and are one of the top trees for attracting wildlife - birds, insects etc. so would add another dimension to your garden.
    Liri that log cabin looks lovely - it must have been wonderful to stay in - did you have a sauna? My brother and wife live in Helsinki & have a holiday home in the woods similar to this.
  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Posts: 8,306
    @Guernsey Donkey2 - yes, it was indeed wonderful to stay in - immediately behind me when taking the photo was a lake, with bitterns booming from the reeds, and the woods were full of birds (including cuckoos).  The cottage had a solar panel for lighting, a bottled gas fridge & stove, earth loo in a shed outside (you had to leave the door open so you could find the loo paper!) and a wood-fired sauna in another cabin.  Bliss...   :)
    Since 2019 I've lived in east Clare, in the west of Ireland.
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