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What are the best trees for small gardens?

Posted on: May 20th, 2019

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No matter how small your garden may be, it can benefit from a tree. Yet it is important that you make the right decision when it comes to choosing the tree you’re going to plant. A huge horse chestnut obliterating a tiny outside space would not be a good idea!

So what are the best trees for small gardens?

Luckily there are lots of small flowering varieties that are ideal for small gardens. Certain ornamental trees, as well as edible and culinary trees can happily grow in tight spaces.

Considerations when choosing the right tree for your garden

There are a number of factors you should consider when researching the best trees for small gardens. These include:

Height and spread – even a small ornamental tree can reach a height of 8 metres over time. If this is too large for your garden, you may want to look into weeping trees, a large shrub or a columnar tree.

Location and soil type – not every tree will thrive in certain locations. You will need to do some research into your garden’s soil type and take into consideration shade and shelter.

Deciduous or evergreen? Whereas evergreen keep their leaves throughout the year, some deciduous trees boast stunning autumn foliage.

Flowering time – when do you want your garden to look its best? Different trees have varying flowering time, foliage, fruit and bark. How many trees are you thinking of planting? If you can only choose one, certain small trees have more than one season of interest – flowers in spring, followed by fruit or beautiful autumn leaves.

The best trees for small gardens

The Royal Horticultural Society’s top recommended flowering trees for small gardens are as follows:

Acacia baileyana – slightly silvery grey, evergreen leaves and dainty yellow clusters of flowers reminiscent of pompoms. Good for milder areas.
Amelanchier lamarckii – also known as juneberry, this bushy little tree looks lovely during three seasons. It boasts coppery foliage and white flowers that open in spring, followed by berries that the birds simply love. In the autumn, the leaves turn a fiery red.

Arbutus x andrachnoides – the strawberry tree is a small evergreen with strawberry-like fruits and flowers similar to lily-of-the-valley. It will grow in limy soil and has striking cinnamon-red bark all year round.

Cornus kousa ‘John Slocock’ - an unusually upright type of Japanese dogwood, which fits nicely in confined spaces. Features include bright red fruits and bronze and deep red autumn leaves. Avoid planting in chalky soil.

Crataegus persimilis 'Prunifolia' – hawthorns are not just hedgerow trees. This variety lends itself perfectly to small gardens with its compact growth, white flowers and dark, glossy foliage. After flowering, crimson fruits follow.

Prunus mume 'Beni-chidori' – cherry trees are a popular choice when it comes to confined spaces but it is wise to choose the correct variety as some can become large and cast too much shade. The prunus mume 'Beni-chidori' is a great choice, with richly scented pink flowers, small stature and light shade.

Styrax hemsleyanus – the Hemsley Snowball is one of the prettiest small trees. It only casts light shade and in June, long strings of beautiful white flowers open, complemented by bold leaves. Thrives in good soil and shelter.

We hope you found our article ‘What are the best trees for small gardens?’ of interest. If you would like any further information and advice regarding the best trees for small gardens and which varieties would best use your outside space, please contact Prince Tree Surgery.

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