Forum home Problem solving

what tree(s) to plant?

novice gardener here hoping for some help.

I would like to plant a tree against the back fence of my garden (points directly north). my most recent thought was a magnolia grandiflora but I'm concerned that it might get too dominant. also will only get direct light once it grows above the fence line (my pockets aren't deep enough for a more mature tree)

I've made a start on prepping my border (which I will widen to 4ft on the west facing fence). I wouldn't like the tree to cast too much of a shadow across this border and reduce my options, but I was hoping for a lush evergreen with an interesting shape and trunk which would also block the view of the neighbours pagoda (speakers and lights!!!)

any thoughts/help appreciated



  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,577
    even a small M. Grandiflora will be pricey. What about common laurel? Prunus Laurocerasus?, not as pretty but will do the job more cheaply , and more quickly.
  • I was thinking of planting the tree right in the corner as pictures. 

    combination of trellis, bamboo and the solitary damson tree planted already I hope will give me some more privacy here
  • thanks @Hostafan1 , would it be relatively easy to shape as a tree? does it flower at all?

    I've found a small M grandiflora I can stretch to. could it work here in your opinion?

    looking for beauty if possible!


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,577
    edited February 2020
    the magnolia would certainly work, but it's not the fastest grower. How about the laurel, for screening,  with something prettier planted in front?
    Maybe trellis above fence, if you're allowed, with evergreen Clematis armandii ?
  • thanks!

    might pay my neighbour a visit 're to discuss trellis this weekend as presumably it would have to be attached to his side!
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,577
    that's why I said " if you're allowed" . The last thing you want is a neighbour dispute
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700
    Take a look at Cotoneasters. Cotoneaster Frigidus 'Cornubia' should be cheaper and they are not so fussy on soil conditions. If the area is sheltered there, I can picture Garrya Elliptica, Silk Tassel bush planted there. 
  • thank you! the soil there i think is decent, some clay lumps but it was easy to dig the border out and break it down with a fork. it should also be well sheltered in that corner

    I'd like to grow ferns and other plants underneath/around which puts me off connifers slightly - maybe elsewhere in the garden though

    thanks for your suggestions all. silk tassel looks nice if it grows tall enough. I'll look into all of these further. thanks again!
  • I planted a cotoneaster cornubia last year to block out an unsightly building at the end of my garden - around £15 bare rooted.  It has taken off and is now well over two metres high.  Evergreen with a wonderful crop of red berries over the winter.  It is certainly does exactly what I wanted it too and the red berries have been a delight right through the winter.
Sign In or Register to comment.