Forum home Plants

Which tree?

Hi allimage

I have just purchased a new home and have a small but well-maintained garden. I was looking to add a small evergreen (possibly?) tree. Could anyone recommend examples of possible options open to me? (I am not sure how good the soil is quality-wise or how deep it is at the moment as I haven't got the keys yet!) could I have one in a pot? I would say that I am definitely a beginner when it comes to gardening but am now looking forward to getting my hands dirty. Any advice would be appreciated!




  • I wouldn't plant an evergreen myself, but thats probably prejudice!  If you do, be very careful what you choose.  But you could choose something with year round interest, a John Downie crab apple is small, nice shape, small white flowers, lots of bright red/orange fruit in autumn can make crab apple jelly.  I also have an acer grisium, glorious peeling trunk, which looks good in winter and really lovely autumn colour.  Or Prunus Serulla, anther with a lovely trunk, and yellow leaves in autumn.  Or a birch, which wouldn't block light and always looks lovely and graceful.  Have fun!


  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 22,741

    Hello Steven.

    If you plant anything in a pot you have to imagine that the dimensions of its roots will want to be more or less a mirror image of its top half. So for a tree of any size you are going to need one big pot. Plus, it will need a lot more care than a tree in the ground. Regular watering and feeding. And it will be liable to wind damage as it will be top heavy when it is older.

    So if you can, I'd say plant it in the ground.

    The ideal evergreen tree is a holly. They come in male and female varieties so choose a female type if you want to have berries at Christmas.

    If you like cooking, a bay tree is an easy plant to grow, but not terribly exciting to look at.

    Or a shrub such as a Viburnum bodnantense "Dawn" - not evergreen but it flowers prolifically in winter and has a great perfume.



    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • Holly would be good but for berries you need a male tree which produces the berries. Sorry to disagree with the previous comment.  I would go to good nursery or garden centre and look and readparticularly the height.  A fig tree in a half barrel makes a lovely statement in summer and then you get figs too.  

  • Basic Birds and Bees ... male flowers produce the pollen which pollinates the female flowers which produce the berries. 


    What can cause confusion is that some female holly varieties have male names e.g. Golden King is a female and Silver Queen is a male.

    More explanation here

    Helpfully Ilex JC van Tol is self-fertile

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

  • does it have to be a tree? I have a lovely Osmanthus which is about six foot tall and much admired by visitors

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,743

    can I just ask how " small " is small"?

  • Glad you have sorted that out for me Dovefromabove.  am going to talk on hollies Saturday in Usk, Monmouthshire. 

  • If I had space for a tree I'd choose a Forest Pansy, Cercis canadensis. Not evergreen

    but it has purple/red foliage, blossom in spring and goes beautiful colours in autumn.

  • Invicta2Invicta2 Posts: 663

    If you want a small evergreen you could train a Camellia on a single stem. Lovely glossy foliage all the year round, and a wide choice of flowers in the spring. Bear in mind it would need acid soil and they are slow growing [as are Hollies]. Two small rowans suitable for smaller gardens are: Sorbus vilmorinii, lovely delicate foliage with good autumn colour and deep pink small berries that fade to pale pink through the winter [birds ignore them]; Sorbus cashmiriana, unusuall pink flowers [all other Rowans are white] followed by large white berries that last through the winter, autumn colour is dull yellow. Genista aetnensis, the Mt Etna broom is a small tree very light looking green all the year round with masses of small yellow flowers in the summer.



Sign In or Register to comment.