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Replacing a rowan tree

We have a rowan tree at the front of our house (see picture) that is leaning at a perilous angle, and the storms had it bending all over the place.  Apart from now being top heavy and leaning, it also has canker.   The tree surgeon says it could be reduced, propped etc, but is liable to split/fall in a future storm, so better to manage its demise rather than leave it to nature.  
(1) Do people agree with that advice?
(2) What would people suggest planting in its place or nearby, bearing in mind its proximity to the house and the fact that there are all sort of underground services and it is near a corner where vehicles turn, reverse etc.
Definitely want it to be a small tree, not a shrub.
The house is south facing


  • After zooming-in to your photo, I do agree with the tree surgeon and best out now.

    I'm sure others will give advice about a replacement, but that one has to go - the bark at the base has been very badly damaged.  I would plant a new tree further away from that corner, where it will be less likely to get damaged by cars etc. 
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 2,291
    I'd say the same as @BobTheGardener, sad though it is to have to remove a tree!  You could try an Amelanchier lamarkii, Crab apple, Pyrus calleryana "Chanticleer" (all deciduous) or an Arbutus unedo if you want something evergreen.  I'd also plant it a distance away from where your Rowan is growing.
    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.
  • Thanks to @BobTheGardener and @Plantminded for your replies and based on that and other advice, the tree has been cut down to ground level.   Before I get someone in to grind out the stump, I see that new shoots are growing from around the stump.  If I trained one of them and cut away the rest, would that grow back into a healthy (upright!) tree, or would I better to start again from scratch?
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 8,885
    I think it would always look a bit ungainly with the old stump at the base, and if there is disease present it might in time affect your selected new shoot. And I think you'd be forever removing the other new shoots that you didn't want.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • True, @JennyJ , though isn't that exactly what happens in the wild after a forest fire or a storm have wreaked havoc?
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 8,885
    No one's bothered what it looks like in a forest, and no-one would be pruning it (unless it got browsed by deer or something). It would most likely grow as a thicket of stems, of which some might naturally die off in time or be eaten. For a specimen tree in front of your house, it's up to you. Try it if you like!
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,214
    I agree totally with @JennyJ. That will never be a thing of beauty.
    It's very different from how any plant behaves in the natural world. A garden is an unnatural setting that we create, no matter how natural we might try to make it  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • UffUff Posts: 3,199
    If that were my tree stump I'd leave it for a year and see what happens. If it threw up say half a dozen new shoots it would look like a small shrub and wouldn't overwhelm the small area allocated to it. If you liked it then the stems could be cut back every year or perhaps two years. You have nothing to lose and hopefully, a multi stemmed tree to gain. 
    SW SCOTLAND but born in Derbyshire
  • So here we are, three months later, and as you see, I went with @Uff's thought of 'wait and see'.  I've gradually thinned out some of the outer shoots, and can see a few of the middle ones striding out ahead of the others. Whether it will grow into a tree, who knows, but, with due deference to @Fairygirl and @JennyJ I'm enjoying the experiment look forward to seeing where it leads.    And if it ends up levelling the lot, grinding out the stump and planting something in its place, I am no worse off. I've even had compliments on my 'new bush'!   And in the mean time (a) it is stopping neighbours turning their cars on my front garden (b) giving me a lot of pleasure  :)

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