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Trees or shrubs for small south facing garden

Hi everyone, 

I have a small south-facing rear garden (around 16 x 8m). It's largely paved / concrete, with a narrow, slightly sloped bed about 2m wide with clay soil. 

Until yesterday, it was almost like a woodland glade as about 2/3 of the patio area was shaded by the canopy of a large walnut tree (about 30 ft high) in the garden behind us. Our neighbours just chopped it down. We're on the side of a low hill and now don't have any trees in, or immediately around the garden. It's now quite exposed and will be blazingly hot in the summer. 

Can anyone advise on any small, trees or shrubs that we might be able to grow to provide some shade and encourage wildlife? We used to get loads of birds perching in the tree which obviously won't happen anymore. 

Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you :)


  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 3,560
    Cockspur thorn would be a good one (Crataegus persimilis 'Prunifolia') - very tough, has a pleasing shape, spring blossom, good autumn colour, and berries for the birds.
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 3,396
    Whatever you choose, I suggest you plant it well into your garden, beyond reach of the neighbours, so they can't cut off branches growing over the boundary and ruin the shape of your tree¬
  • robairdmacraignilrobairdmacraignil CorkPosts: 350
    Rowan, Amelanchier, black cherry plum and crab apples can be nice medium sized trees but these may even be too big for your garden. The really small trees that would be nice include Japanese acers (Bloodgood variety being the one I picked myself) and Fuji cherry (the Kojo-no-mai variety being the one I planted) but these wont provide much shade in your garden in the summer and are slow growing. Maybe the whitethorn or flowering almond might be worth checking but I'm not sure from your post what height limit you want to set for your tree and some choices may need to be pruned if you want them to stay at a smaller size.

    Happy gardening!
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