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Small tree with dapple shade south facing but must have a light root system

We live in Wiltshire.  We have a garden boarder south facing about 2m deep and is higher than the road. It has a 6 foot high dry stone retaining wall on to a road but only shows about 1 foot in my boarder.  The soil is dry but I’m working on that.  We would like something of interest all year round not casting too much shade and about 3m maximum anything bigger would be far too large.
I have been looking at Betula jacquemontii ‘Snow Queen can any one advise on this and any other small suitable tress with a light root system to protect my retaining wall.


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,741
    edited September 2021
    Amelanchier lamarckii, Euonymous europaeus [spindle tree] , Sorbus [Mountain Ash not Whitebeam] , Pyrus salicifolia [ornamental pear] will all suit, but rowans ideally need quite moisture retentive soil, or at least need loads of water if you're in a drier area, so may not be the best choice. 
    All are easy, and offer a good season of interest.  :)

    Most Birches can get pretty big, regardless of the info, so best kept as a multi stem tree with coppicing. I believe that one is normally sold as a multi stemmed tree anyway.  :)

    I've just had a look at the birch you like and generally - it seems it gets to around 5 or 6 metres with a decent spread. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,829
    edited September 2021
    I would agree with Amelanchier lamarckii ... a gorgeous little tree ... we have a multi-stemmed one .... covered in beautiful blossom in the spring ... fresh green leaves and black berries loved by the birds in the summer (but you can eat them or make jam etc if the blackbirds let you) and then the most beautiful autumn colour. We have pretty little pink Cyclamen hederifolium flowering beneath it ... looks a picture.  Love it.  

    And it won't damage your wall.   :)

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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