This is a collaborative post.
Trees can be beautiful features to add to a garden. But just what is the best type of tree for your outdoor space? Trees come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s important to research into different species and work out exactly what it is you want from a tree before buying one. Below are just a few questions worth asking when choosing a tree, and some of the best choices depending on your answer.
What’s The Best Type Of Tree For Your Garden?
How big is your garden?
Large trees are generally only suitable for larger gardens due to the size of their roots and the shade created by their crown. Large tree species include oaks, beeches, ashes, sycamores, and most firs.
In smaller gardens, you ideally want to stick to trees under 20 ft. Popular examples include apple trees, cherry blossoms, olive trees, lemon trees, spruces and dogwoods.
Do you want to grow fruit/nuts?
Some trees grow fruit that you can pick and eat. Popular examples include apple trees, pear trees, plum trees, fig trees, lemon trees and peach trees.
Other trees produce nuts that you can eat. These include hazelnuts, walnuts, sweet chestnuts, macadamia trees and almond trees.
Do you want to attract wildlife?
Want to do some bird-spotting in your garden? Or perhaps you want to attract squirrels? Flowering fruit/nut producing trees are some of the best choices for attracting wildlife.
Some of the most popular wildlife attracting trees in the UK include crab apples, silver birches, holly trees, cherry trees, oaks and hawthorns.
Are you looking for something fast growing?
Baby trees tend to be cheaper and easier to plant than mature trees. However, some trees can take a long time to mature. There are ways to increase tree growth speed, but there is only so much you can do to accelerate the speed of some species.
If you’re looking for a tree that will grow to its full height within a couple decades, you should consider species such as willows, cypresses, sycamores and red maples. Avoid oaks, yews and Japanese maples.
Are you looking for a low maintenance option?
Fast growing trees can require more maintenance – particularly when it comes to their roots. Tree lopping may eventually be necessary too if such trees aren’t regularly pruned. Other trees can be delicate or needy, which could mean extra work required when it comes to supporting them and watering them.
Which type of tree for your garden don’t require a lot of maintenance? Silver birches, olive trees, crab apples, dogwoods, Japanese maples and magnolias are a few examples.
Do you need some shade in the summer?
Trees with bushier crowns or hanging leaves will provide more shade during the summer months. Oaks, maples, willows, dogwoods and silver birches are prime examples.
Evergreen trees will provide year round shade and privacy. Deciduous trees will provide shade in the summer but let through light in the winter when the leaves have fallen.
Do you want to bring some colour to your garden?
Looking for a truly colourful tree for your garden? Flowering deciduous trees are the best choice, because they produce bright flowers in the spring and browning leaves in the autumn.
Maples, cherry blossoms, dogwoods, magnolias and jacarandas are some of the best options.