This is a question that can be quite troubling. A tree is a significant purchase, an investment and will have a big impact on your property. Here are some of the things to think about when choosing a tree for your garden.
Picking the ideal garden tree
You should ask yourself – and / or a qualified gardener, grower of trees or other professionals – three questions. First, which varieties will thrive in the climate and soil? Is your soil especially wet, exposed to wind or dry? These factors will affect how well the trees will do.
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Secondly, how big you want the tree to grow?
Third, do you want evergreen or do you prefer a glorious change in colour in the autumn?
Do your research first
No two people will have the same idea of what is the perfect tree. So, it’s worth doing research rather than make instant decisions. You may find that some recommendations are naming the same tree several times. So, shortlisting should become easier, with a list of three or four varieties to choose from and not hundreds.
Many tree companies online will have some good advice about choosing a tree.
And even if the particular situation you face does not feature on a website, you should be able to contact a good tree company via email or phone to ask for advice on tree for your garden. Alternatively, seek out the services of a Bournemouth Tree Surgeon at a site like kieranboylandtreeservices.
Be aware that nurseries and garden centres won’t have much more information other than what it says on the label, which is helpful but often a bit too generic.
Buy locally grown garden trees
The UK has experienced many tree disease outbreaks, such as Dutch elm disease, ash dieback and now the oak processionary moth. These are all bad for our native flora and fauna with serious consequences of our bio-security. Unfortunately, diseases and pests travel quickly and easily in today’s world.
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In the UK and Europe there is much less protection in terms of bio-security. For those living in a country with a more relaxed approach to bio-security, it’s wise to purchase a tree that has not travelled too far.
And if your tree has grown close to home, it will probably also be used to the climate and soil. Win, win!
Be wary though that a native tree is not the same as a ‘locally grown’ tree. For example, you can buy locally grown palm trees in Kent, but that does not make the trees ‘native’. Silver birch, on the other hand, is a native tree.
‘Native’ is defined as a tree that colonized the British Isles immediately after the last ice age of 10,000 years ago in the time before the English Channel formed and cut us off from the rest of Europe. These include ash, beech, alder, blackthorn, hawthorn, hazel and many more. Trees brought by early settlers (from about 8,000 years ago until today) are considered ‘non-native’.
However, the most important thing is to continue planting trees – no matter what species they are. Any tree is better for wildlife than no trees at all, with the best time for planting between October and March.
Not all the trees will survive, but be careful what you pick. It might be wise to plant several smaller trees, with a view to removing one or more as they get bigger.