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Wild cherry in raised beds

Hello, I am in the process of designing a garden for my brother, whose small garden is completely paved. To save on space, I have designed raised sleeper beds with integrated seating. It backs on to a nature reserve, with native trees right against the fence, including cherry. I was thinking of planting some native trees in the raised planter to blend in with the surroundings, such as wild cherry or silver birch, but wasn't 100% sure whether they would grow okay in a raised bed. It will be deep, around 60-70cm, if not higher. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Cheers, Ben 
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  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,347
    Has he got room for trees? What size are we talking about ... native cherry and silver birch can grow into pretty big trees. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Yeah there is room for trees, although possibly dwarf ones might be best. Although, would growing them in a raised bed limit the eventual height? If so, that could be a good thing. 
  • Normally raised beds are set on top of ordinary ground.
    Any large trees will simple root down through raised bed into soil underneath and continue to grow tall ...just as normal.
    It will look very odd.
    Suggest you stick to dwarf shrubs.
    Perthshire. SCOTLAND .
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,347
    Really?  Wild cherry can grow up to 30m tall ... must be a big 'small garden' and a huge raised bed.   ;)
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Really?  Wild cherry can grow up to 30m tall ... must be a big 'small garden' and a huDovefromabove saidge raised bed.  

    Yeah true... Another question would be then is what happens in you plant a non-dwarf species in a container, like a pot. Will it limit the growth or kill the tree? 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,347
    edited December 2020
    It'll break the pot and/or shrivel and die from being potbound when the roots fill the pot. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • If it is a new specimen, it will grow for a while.  Then you will find that you need to re pot into a larger container.  You will be doing that ad infinitum if you wish to keep the tree at it's best.
    If the garden has a backdrop of mature native trees have a think about what would blend in within the confines of the raised beds. 60/70 cms is a reasonable depth for veg, some shrubs or perennials but not deep enough for trees.
    Cheers! This is good to know and will build this into my plans. 
  • You could help benefit the wildlife and bring it into your own garden by  carefully chosen planting.
    Cotoneaster horizontalis and a Pyracantha against the fence to hide it and give flowers and berries for bees and birds respectively.
    Some easy and attractive flowering shrubs such as Weigela and Deutzia for the pollinators and if you want something wild, how about a wild rose - lovely single flowers for the bees and beautiful red hips for the birds.
    You can enjoy all of them and benefit from the borrowed landscape too and they can all be kept within bounds by judicious pruning.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,129
    Hi @stockwell.ben52 - you've given the height of the bed[s], but not the other dimensions. That will have a bearing on what you plant too.  :)
    It's perfectly possible to have smaller trees in a raised bed, if they're open to ground below, as @Silver surfer said, but you'd have to consider what else would go in there along with it/them, and the overall capacity of the beds will dictate that. 
    There are shrubs which can be grown in a 'tree like' way, or simply left as shrubs, as @Buttercupdays describes, but it would be wise to consider the eventual look.
    Anything contained, even in a fairly sizeable raised bed, will tend to be smaller than it would in open ground, assuming it has the right care, but a vigorous tree could be very problematic  :)
    If you have any photos of the site, that always helps with suggestions too  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • You could help benefit the wildlife and bring it into your own garden by  carefully chosen planting.
    Cotoneaster horizontalis and a Pyracantha against the fence to hide it and give flowers and berries for bees and birds respectively.
    Some easy and attractive flowering shrubs such as Weigela and Deutzia for the pollinators and if you want something wild, how about a wild rose - lovely single flowers for the bees and beautiful red hips for the birds.
    You can enjoy all of them and benefit from the borrowed landscape too and they can all be kept within bounds by judicious pruning.
    These are all great suggestions. Had thought about cotoneaster and dog rose too, so will try build them in. Thanks for your help. 
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