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Trees in beds & near house

dilbydilby Posts: 77
Hi all -

I am a newbie to gardener; young and trying to learn, and I'm in the process of establishing my first garden.

I cleared a bunch of old scraggly trees that ran along a messy bank on my border, which i turned into a raised bed (shown in the image with the wooden bed). I managed to keep one lilac tree but want to add another tree to bring back some of the privacy it created and and also to hide an ugly shed next door. (I'm planting a jasmine that will hopefully in time help cover this).

What I'm not sure about is what tree if any tree would work here; it's about 1m wide and is nice and deep, but I'm worried any roots would eventually push the wood out and ruin the border I've built. It gets a good amount of sun/dappled shade throughout the day (pictured early morning when its in shade, but after lunch its good). 

My wife is keen on a silver birch, and i'm a fan too as it suits the style of garden I'm after, we love the bark and they are relatively cheap for a decent sized tree. However as an Aussie expat I'm also keen to get a cider gum eucalyptus in somewhere.

The other option is at the front of our house (could replace that laurel and have it next to the hedge); not much direct sun here as it's north facing and shielding by the side of our house, but if tall enough, the part sticking over the fence would get very good sun. Essentially I'm after something here that can sit above the fence as on the opposite side is a raised deck where I'd love some privacy. I'd considered a clumping variety of bamboo that would also create some nice sounds, but perhaps the birch is an option here? My main concern are the roots; I've thrown in a picture to show how close it is to some stamped concrete (not cheap!) and our house.

I realise this is a highly subjective and open-ended post, but would really appreciate some help from those much more knowledgable than me!!! Many thanks  :)


  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053
    In your back garden I would plant the tree in the grass, not the border. Both a eucalyptus and a silver birch (unless you go for the more expensive Jacquemontii variety) are unsuitable for a suburban garden - they will grow to 80+feet. Better to look at the smaller more decorative trees like crab apple, rowan etc. 
    I wouldn't plant a tree in the space you have shown near the paving. 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • dilbydilby Posts: 77
    Thanks for the reply Hogweed - I had perhaps foolishly assumed that if i put it in a pot or a bed it would restrict growth and be the right size.
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  • dilbydilby Posts: 77
    Thanks freddies dad - was yours in a bed like mine? 
  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053
    Depends on the variety of eucalyptus I'm afraid. Gunnii can be pruned annually to give a nicely shaped small tree but some just do not respond as well and look ugly. 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
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