A tree is a valuable addition to your garden, increasing its beauty and providing shade and structure throughout the year. Nathan James Dodd passes on his experience about choosing and planting the right one for your garden.
This is my guide to the best trees noted for their flowering or berrying ability; or for their suitability for small gardens.
Benefits Of Planting A Tree
A few facts to draw your attention:
- Without trees and plants there would be no life on Earth.
- One giant tree produces enough oxygen for 40 people.
- Trees sponge up carbon dioxide and air pollutants.
- 20 trees offset the pollution of one car driven 60 miles.
- Trees rovide privacy and reduce noise.
- A well chosen and positioned tree can increase the value of your property.
- Trees make you feel good, bringing wildlife and birdsong into your garden.
Your choice of tree is very much a personal thing, dependent on your taste and the style of your garden.
The main thing you will need to consider is the size that the tree will grow to, and that your garden is big enough to hold it. You do not want your new tree to dwarf the rest of your garden, or to cut out all your sunlight in 10 years time. So chose a suitably sized tree that offers a long period of interest. But remember that a tree planted on a boundary will only half encroach on your garden.
Consider your favourite colours - would you prefer a white or pink blossomed tree? Would you like it to have red or yellow berries? And remember, we've done most of the hard work for you, so use this information to your advantage. Purchase and plant your tree, sit back and enjoy many years of growing pleasure.
How To Plant A Tree
- Keeping the tree in its pot, soak it in a tub of water for 20 minutes, then allow to drain.
- Dig a whole twice the width of the pot and 10cm (4") deeper, where you intend the tree to go, and ensure the soil is weed free.
- Mix some multi-purpose compost or very well rotted manure with the lifted soil and fill the bottom 7cm (3") of the hole with the mixture.
- Remove the pot and place the tree in the centre of the hole.
- Knock in a tree stake next to the tree, on the windward side, and secure the trunk to the stake with a tree tie.
- Refill the hole with the soil mixture and heel in well to keep the root ball secure.
- Water well and keep the soil moist whilst your tree establishes its roots, this usually takes about a year.
- Pruning and aftercare.
You can always prune your tree if you wish to restrict its growth or remove any unwanted or diseased branches. Light pruning can be done at any time of year, but anything heavier that would require a saw should be done in late autumn. Always remember to cut to either a leaf bud or branch joint.