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Small tree/shrub ideas

I'm in need of some suggestions for my north facing front garden. We moved in over the summer and are starting to get to grips with the house so want to get on with the garden.

At the moment we have two unidentified weeping trees out there which don't seem to produce any flowers or berries, and the foliage so far hasn't changed colour. Our neighbour tells us she has never seen them look any different. 

I would like to swap them for something that adds a bit more value, ideally something that produces berries for the birds. If the foliage is nicely coloured and it blossoms all the better. However they can't get too high - one is in front of the lounge window, although it is a sloping garden so at the moment is 5-6' and not blocking the light much. Taller would be okay if it was something that isn't too dense and lets light through but stops us looking straight out onto our neighbours.

I've looked online a bit and cotoneaster looks like a possibility but was hoping others might have some suggestions for compact shrubs or trees that fit the bill.

Thanks in advance. 


  • Forester2Forester2 Posts: 1,477

    An idea is a pansy tree which can be kept as a shrub or grown as a small tree with lovely pink blossom in the spring and red leaves in the summer.  It will lose it leaves in the winter so you will not have privacy then.  You mention cotoneaster and as there are lots of varieties you will undoubtedly find something to suit you.

    Some other folks will have some other ideas for you to look into.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 64,532

    I would suggest a crab apple - they don't grow too large for front gardens and the roots won't damage foundations.  The blossom and the fruit attract wildlife (long-tailed tits love them and visit in droves looking for insects and spiders webs), and the growth isn't too dense.  If you want to thin the branches out later on that can be done without  spoiling the shape of the tree.  Lots of different shades of blossom and fruit for you to choose from.


    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Thanks for the suggestions, I shall try and head to a garden centre and have a look at some different varieties!

  • After lots of umming and ahhing the willows are out, but I've now decided I don't want to replace the one in front of the window. I do have another spot in the front in mind though and have bought a small cornus mas which I think will be beautiful. The crab apple was a very close second!

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