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Tree suggestions

Hi all,

looking for some advice/suggestions on choosing some new trees. Our rear garden is south facing and I want to plant trees against the southern end (north facing fence). On the other side of the fence there are some really ugly conifers and, long term, I'd like the new trees to break them up - I don't think we need total coverage but more want to soften them. I can trim the existing trees right back to the fence line which will make them quite thin so the new trees should get a fair amount of sun. you can see in the photos that even now there's quite a lot of light, not at ground level but certainly where a 2.5m-3m tree would be.

What would you recommend? I recently planted a crab apple Evereste (rhs side of images) which is lovely, more of those? Long term I think 4-5m height would be as much as we'd want. Spread depends on the number of trees I guess.

At the moment the bed has rhododendrons in it which are planted in ericaceous compost and doing well. The bed appears to be around PH 4.5-5 (though i don't completely trust my measure). It does dry out quickly but I water to keep the rhododendrons going so I guess it would be described as well drained.

Thanks in advance for your ideas!



  • nick615nick615 SW IrelandPosts: 1,239
    Initial comments would be to decide if whatever you plant is likely to upset the neighbour because, if he doesn't like it, he might attack any root intrusion that'll inevitably happen.  Any deciduous variety will drop its leaves in autumn, which will then leave only a few twigs to 'break up' his conifers.  The only one likely to hold its leaves and maintain some screening value, will be Beech or Hornbeam but, if you plant your own evergreens, you'll only replicate his, but on your side.  I'm afraid Rhodies are very slow growing but will be effective.
  • Thanks @nick615 for the reply. No issue with the neighbor-it's flats with communal grounds and beyond the trees there's a lot of space and grass. They keep things tidy but that's about it.

    I'm not really after a hedge, I was thinking more about a couple of trees like crab apples, would that not work? I have climbing roses on the fence that will cover that so a couple of trees with bare trunks but nice foliage higher us is what I was thinking.
  • jamesholtjamesholt Central texasPosts: 456
    I was thinking of crabapple.  I like the size and flowers.  I don't have any but they stay small
  • nick615nick615 SW IrelandPosts: 1,239
    My knowledge isn't expansive so I'll leave further suggestions to those who know a lot more.  The neighbour's conifers look quite young, so you'll need to consider what variety they are and how they're likely to mature.  With that information, as James says, you can assess whether crab apples, or whatever, will achieve your desired effect.  Amongst the 'pretties' will be Forsythia, Laburnum and Magnolia, none of which grow too tall but the options are many and varied.
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,294
    Crab apple stay small,no,mine is big,
  • @nick615 they're actually not young - they've just been cropped (hacked!) a couple of weeks ago. I can't recall their name but they're a slow growing variety. I can easily keep them trim, the neighbours won't mind and if I do it regularly it shouldn't be too hard and it keeps them healthy. Thanks for the suggestions - I'll look those up.
  • richjamesturnerrichjamesturner Posts: 55
    edited June 2021
    Do you think crab apples and the tress @nick615 suggested will get enough light there if I keep the neighbours trees back? And be ok in the conditions i mentioned above?

  • robairdmacraignilrobairdmacraignil CorkPosts: 669
    A lot of trees will grow taller than the 4-5metre mark you say you want long term. I think the height of crab apple trees depends on the particular variety you plant. A couple of not very big trees to consider could be common hawthorn for its nice flowers and berries and Persian ironwood for its really nice autumn leaf colour.
  • jamesholtjamesholt Central texasPosts: 456
    How about an apple tree?  You could keep it clipped?   Here is a dwarf peach tree that is about 5 years old.  I need to pot it on or plant it but stays small?
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