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Trees - age to cost ratio: best bang for buck?

LatimerLatimer Latimer, BuckinghamshirePosts: 728
Hey all,

So I'm, for once, doing a bit of forward planning for the garden and looking at potential trees. In terms of the best balance of cost v size, where do you all feel is the best place? I know that younger trees establish better and easier than older ones but you obviously don't get that impact of them for a while then. I'll be looking at getting potentially:

amelanchier lamarckii
Malus everest
2 or 3 acers
Purple beech for clipped hedging

I don't have money to burn but at the same time I don't want to be waiting 10 years to get something that looks mature(ish).

Thanks all.
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  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,561
    Buy purple beech as single stemmed, bare-rooted whips this autumn.  If you then plant them in a well prepared trench and prune them back to 9 to 12"/23 to 30cms they'll romp away.  Whips are cheap and easy to plant.

    A 3 or 4' high amelanchier will establish far more quickly than one 2 or 3 times the size which will, most likely, sit there for 3 or 4 years doing very little.  The smaller tree will get its roots settled more quickly and put on new top growth and soon match and then outstrip the bigger ones.   Spend the money you save on the tree on some good, well-rotted manure to help it and the beech hedge along.

    If by acers you mean Japanese maples, these are expensive at any size and the same applies to root establishment and new growth.  

    I've only ever grown Malus John Downie and the same applied to that too.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • LatimerLatimer Latimer, BuckinghamshirePosts: 728
    Thanks @Obelixx

    Would you say in general then it's better to spend the big bucks on an almost mature tree that gives instant impact or go small? Seems like all the stuff in between is not worth the money?
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,561
    Re-read my post.  It says "buy small".

    I don't think buying big is good value - too much to lose if it fails and no pleasure in nurturing it along and also far too big a hole needed to prepare and keep watered.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • LatimerLatimer Latimer, BuckinghamshirePosts: 728
    @Obelixx totally understood your post, just verbalised myself poorly in my reply!! 😀

    But you clarified regardless, it's never good to go big! Thanks.
  • rachelQrtJHBjbrachelQrtJHBjb South BucksPosts: 805
    Hi, London to Latimer. Nice part of the world you live in. I'm about 5 miles from you. I've used Buckingham Nurseries on a number of occasions for my bare root whips and never been disappointed. Probably put in 100m of hedging over the years: one long hornbeam one and the others mixed native. I did it all mail order but you can visit them and see various mature hedges in situ. Website is www.hedging.co.uk. They deliver throughout the UK.
  • newbie77newbie77 LondonPosts: 1,225
    I would say for acer, if you are buying the red leaved bloodgood, dont buy small. They do take forever to grow. Get a medium sized one. 
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 13,914
    I'm in exactly this positon, thinking of amelanchier. I'm interested in your ideas. 
  • Silver surferSilver surfer Posts: 3,677
    newbie77 said:
    I would say for acer, if you are buying the red leaved bloodgood, dont buy small. They do take forever to grow. Get a medium sized one. 
    A decent size Acer can cost £200.00..or more.
    What happens if it goes pear shaped... tree not happy, wind or sun scorch, too wet, too dry.
    Far safer to buy small and have the pleasure of watching them grow.
    If small/cheaper  and it dies then no matter.
    Perthshire. SCOTLAND .
  • BenCottoBenCotto RutlandPosts: 3,601
    I would be thinking about how long you intend to stay in the house. If you imagine you could well be there in 20+ years’ time I would be buying smaller trees than if there’s a good chance you’ll have moved on before 2030.

    I would also be thinking about where the trees are going and, more importantly, from which vantage points you’ll spend most time looking at them. From those viewing places I would look at mocked up trees of varying heights, thinking about how a small tree would look if planted now, and how it would be in 5/10/20 years’ time. Repeat for a medium sized tree planted now, then a large tree.
  • madpenguinmadpenguin Isle of WightPosts: 2,422
    newbie77 said:
    I would say for acer, if you are buying the red leaved bloodgood, dont buy small. They do take forever to grow. Get a medium sized one. 
    A decent size Acer can cost £200.00..or more.
    What happens if it goes pear shaped... tree not happy, wind or sun scorch, too wet, too dry.
    Far safer to buy small and have the pleasure of watching them grow.
    If small/cheaper  and it dies then no matter.
    I bought a small Acer from Morrisons 2 years ago for £3.50 and was little more than a branched stick.It is still in a pot but growing really well and looks now like a shrub that would cost a lot more for the size.
    Clematis as well,again from Morrisons at £1.75 and quite small have all romped away.The expensive pot grown ones have all died!
    My Mum has a Ginkgo tree at 20ft that I bought her as a 6" stick for £1.
    I suppose it all depends if you can afford to pay out for a larger shrub/tree that you may lose.

    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
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