Small tree for clay soil

Hi all, I just got my first garden and it’s a small blank canvas (with the exception of 1 lovely apple tree), with clay soil. I’m looking for another small tree that I can keep very small through pruning and I have a shortlist of 2 so far, with a question about each! (Any other ideas welcome too)

1. Snowy mespilus - will I be able to prune this to keep it the right size and shape?

2. Strawberry tree - I’ve read conflicting info about how hardy this is. Will it be ok in a fairly sheltered west facing garden in the very north of England (Newcastle)?

Thank you!
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Posts

  • purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 1,797
    How about a twisted hazel. Large well shaped leaves in summer, nuts in Autumn,  catkins in winter on beautiful twisted limbs, small tree slow growing.🙂
  • DampGardenManDampGardenMan Posts: 1,057
    I'd vote for the Snowy mespilus (Amelanchier lamarckii) as they're lovely trees. But of course it depends on how small small is?

  • jbullivantjbullivant Posts: 5
    How about a twisted hazel. Large well shaped leaves in summer, nuts in Autumn,  catkins in winter on beautiful twisted limbs, small tree slow growing.🙂
    Thank you purplerallim
  • jbullivantjbullivant Posts: 5
    I'd vote for the Snowy mespilus (Amelanchier lamarckii) as they're lovely trees. But of course it depends on how small small is?

    Thanks @DampGardenMan! I probably need it to be max 2.5 metres tall and not too wide as it’s in a corner area
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 3,328
    And you can get a purple form of twisted hazel which makes it more interesting with purple/plummy catkins in spring.
    I don't think your strawberry tree would survive in your area - sorry.
  • jbullivantjbullivant Posts: 5
    Lizzie27 said:
    And you can get a purple form of twisted hazel which makes it more interesting with purple/plummy catkins in spring.
    I don't think your strawberry tree would survive in your area - sorry.
    Thanks @Lizzie27 - I suspected as much but then 1 website listed it as “hardy”! Current favourites are the twisted hazel and snowy mespilus :)
  • jamesharcourtjamesharcourt West SussexPosts: 324
    How about a twisted hazel. Large well shaped leaves in summer, nuts in Autumn,  catkins in winter on beautiful twisted limbs, small tree slow growing.🙂
    +1

    There is a variety called Red Majestic that produces red leaves and reddish pink catkins or the classic green leaf/yellow catkins variety.

    I have both growing well in full sun / part shade in clay and they really come into their own when the catkins unfurl.
  • jbullivantjbullivant Posts: 5
    How about a twisted hazel. Large well shaped leaves in summer, nuts in Autumn,  catkins in winter on beautiful twisted limbs, small tree slow growing.🙂
    +1

    There is a variety called Red Majestic that produces red leaves and reddish pink catkins or the classic green leaf/yellow catkins variety.

    I have both growing well in full sun / part shade in clay and they really come into their own when the catkins unfurl.
    Thank you @jamesharcourt :) 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 24,578
    Amelanchier would be perfect, and you can prune if needed. It takes a while to get to any size though. Technically it's a shrub, so if you want it to be 'tree shaped', make sure you get a suitable specimen.
    Eounymous alatus would also be fine - great autumn colour, and any of the rowans. Rowans take a while to get to any size, and don't have a hefty canopy.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • debs64debs64 West Midlands, on the edge of the Black Country Posts: 1,796
    Surprised to see a fairy recommending a Rowan tree. 
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