The essential guide to springtime tree planting and how to find the ideal tree for your garden

PUBLISHED: 12:11 10 February 2020 | UPDATED: 12:16 10 February 2020

The Concorde pear tree produces sweet, juicy fruit. Picture: Getty Images

The Concorde pear tree produces sweet, juicy fruit. Picture: Getty Images

PaulGrecaud

Whether you’re lining the drive, growing a small sanctuary or creating some separation from your neighbours, there’s a tree for you.

The Victoria Plum bears fruit that is great for cooking with. Picture: Getty ImagesThe Victoria Plum bears fruit that is great for cooking with. Picture: Getty Images

Bowhayes Trees Nursery owner, Fiona Hughes, has compiled this mini guide to help you find the tree you're looking for in time for spring planting.

Best trees for small gardens

The sweeping white flowers of the 'Snowflake' tree will make a dramatic impact in your garden. Picture: Getty ImagesThe sweeping white flowers of the 'Snowflake' tree will make a dramatic impact in your garden. Picture: Getty Images

Make the most of your space and create a mini haven in your back garden. Size isn't an issue - you just need to know what trees flourish best in tight spaces.

Amelanchier Laevis 'Snowflake' works well in a small space. Its sweeping mass of white flowers will make a dramatic impact in your garden. The pretty pea-like flowers and heart-shaped leaves of the Cercis 'Hearts of Gold' tree will work well in a quaint, picturesque space.

With its bewitching charm, the Malus 'Indian Magic' crab apple will enchant and transform even the smallest of spaces and its abundance of orange crab apples is great for making jelly.

Native cherry trees will make your drive look great in spring. Picture: Getty ImagesNative cherry trees will make your drive look great in spring. Picture: Getty Images

Best trees for privacy

The star-shaped leaves of Liquidambar Styraciflua will brighten up your garden. Picture: Getty ImagesThe star-shaped leaves of Liquidambar Styraciflua will brighten up your garden. Picture: Getty Images

If you need a little privacy in your garden, but don't want to build a fence or a wall, planting trees or hedges can be a great alternative solution.

Evergreen trees like Quercus Ilex work well to supply year-round cover.

"A pleached tree like this (with a clear stem and the crown of the tree trained on a frame) will allow you to plant interesting shrubs underneath while still providing cover above the fence line," Fiona explained.

Photinia x Fraserii 'Red Robin' provides a vibrant alternative to solid green screening.

"As a pollution tolerant, low maintenance hedge, it's a great way to add a splash of colour to your garden borders and can be managed at heights of up to four metres," Fiona said.

Best trees for autumn colours

Introduce some colour to your garden with a deciduous tree. The leaves will change in autumn and a palette of rich red, copper, gold and purple will appear.

Fiona recommends Acer Griseum or Sorbus 'Joseph Rock' for 'a firework display of colours during the blustery autumn months.'

"The star-shaped leaves of Liquidambar Styraciflua deliver a collection of rich, stunning leaves in the autumn that are great for brightening up your garden during the damp, darker months," she said.

Best edible trees

For a garden that looks and tastes great, fill your garden with fruit and nut trees and enjoy growing ingredients you can use in your kitchen.

"One of my personal favourites is the Victoria plum," Fiona said. "It bears delicious purple fruit which are great for eating or in cooking."

The Cox apple tree and Concorde pear tree both produce sweet, juicy fruit.

"They taste best when picked and eaten straight from the tree, but you can also store the fruit and turn it into a refreshing juice," Fiona added.

Bowhayes Trees offers a wide range of other fruit and nut trees in their Nursery in Venn Ottery and online.

Best trees for your driveway

A uniform line of trees from the same species can elevate an entrance.

"Maples and lime trees are traditionally used for larger drives," Fiona said. "If you're looking for something for an urban environment, a small group or line of trees can work equally well."

"If space is limited a trio of Betula Utis Jacquemonti, with their uniform, architectural shape and crisp white bark, will make a dramatic statement," Fiona added.

Taxus Baccata 'English yew' can be clipped and shaped for a more formal look. Prunus Avium 'Plena,' a spectacular double-flowering version of the UK native wild cherry, will make your drive look great in spring.

Rooting for you

Finding the right tree for your space doesn't need to be hard. Fiona recommends asking these five questions to help you find the right tree for your garden:

How big is your garden?

Where will you plant your new tree?

Where does the sunlight hit your garden?

What type of soil do you have?

What level of aftercare will your new tree need?

If you don't know the answers, a member of the Bowhayes Trees Nursery team can help. They have a diverse choice of ornamental trees and hedging to help you create an idyllic outdoor escape in your home.

Call 01404 812229 or email contact@bowhayestrees.co.uk for help starting your garden in time for spring. Visit bowhayestrees.co.uk for advice on how to plant and care for your new trees.


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