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Tree for the garden

   Hello there, This is my first time using this forum. Gardening has become my new hobby my wife would say my new passion! I am in the process of picking a tree that I would like to plant in my garden.I would ideally like a tree that will not grow more than 4 metres high. I have a south facing garden so the tree will have full sun. I would really appreciate ideas and advise as I want to get this right first time. Any suggestions welcome. :) What type of tree would you recommend?


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700
    Lucky you... I admire trees when visiting places, passing places and always take photos of special trees. Choosing a tree may take some time, so I'm sure many will give you their personal choices. There are so many trees you can choose from. Think about the look you want. Some cast more shade than others, some are just more showy in spring with blossoms, others have great autumn colours. There are trees that look very exotic too.

    Have a look at Robinia x Slavinii Hillieri. Delicate dappled light canopy that does not take over and cast heavy shade. Early summer flowering which is a bonus. Parrotia Persica, the Persian Ironwood. Winter red flowers with pendulous leaves followed by strong autumn colouring. The bark is also a feature too. 
  • MarlorenaMarlorena Posts: 8,437
    You should watch the final episode of Gardeners World where Nick Bailey shows us some newer small trees... the ones I liked very much - well all of them - were
    Malus toringo 'Aros',... purple leafed all summer, pink flowers... 3 metres or so..
    Sorbus vilmorinii 'Pink Charm'.. pink berries.. 3 metres..
    Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy'... 3-4 metres
    and a silver birch Betula 'Joes' [pronounced yoss].. about 4 metres...

    For a flowering cherry Prunus serrula 'Branklyn', to about 4 metres after 10 years would be another to consider for you..

    East Anglia, England
  • I decided on a Acer palmatum osakazuki  Japanese maple tree. Thank you for your advise. Difficult choice but very happy with my choice, and quite possible that i will be buying another tree in spring.  :) 
  • I was going to say a magnolia because I love them dearly.  And they are slow growing but love the light.  
    I wish I was a glow worm
    A glow worm's never glum
    Cos how can you be grumpy
    When the sun shines out your bum!
  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,129
    Hello leekdavies
    For something different , have a look at Aralia elata , the Japanese Angelica Tree .
    Steady growing , stunning large panicles of white flowers in July/August when others have finished , black berries the birds devour lovingly & good Autumn colouration too .

    Only minor negative are the thorny stems , but not a real problem . Virtually immune to most pests and diseases too . Usually suckers a bit , but these can easily be transplanted or removed .

    Massive leaves which drop quickly in November are an added bonus as there's little mess to clean up .
    Think about it !

  • Can’t go wrong with a crab apple. 
  • AndyDeanAndyDean Posts: 157
    Seconding crab apple!

    I think Japanese maples are very slow growing, so might take a while before you get the full tree effect...
  • @leekdavies - your 'Osakazuki' is a fabulous tree.  You won't be disappointed, especially with its fabulous colour in autumn.

    I don't know how big your garden is, but don't be tempted to cram too many trees into it - consider how wide their branches spread, and how much shade you'll create.

    If you have room for another tree I'd go for a crab apple too, I think.  You can make jelly from the fruit if you like; 'Harry Baker' is a good variety for that purpose, with reddish foliage, lovely flowers, and red fruit.
    Since 2019 I've lived in east Clare, in the west of Ireland.
  • My favourite smallish tree is a Weeping Cotoneaster,evergreen,nice clusters of orange/red berries,which the blackbirds love,and a neat compact growth,very little pruning to keep "weeping".
    The whole truth is an instrument that can only be played by an expert.
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