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Silver Birch grow very big and don't look good or respond well to pruning. What about Rowan, comes in different berry colours now and is has quite airy foliage and looks good all year. It will also feed the birds, copes well on clay and you can prune them without making it look a mess.
...or a Crab Apple?
Amelanchier lamarkii makes a nice smallish tree Greg, although it's classed as a shrub. Easy to keep to a suitable size for a smaller garden and has a light canopy so it doesn't create lots of dense shade. Lovely autumn colour.
The bare root season is almost here so you could take a look at some of the hedging/tree specialists online and you'll be able to order soon for autumn/winter delivery.
Just got me a small acre. 1.5mx1m
Looking to get a jasmine soon.
3 small/medium trees, my favourites;-
Acer Griseum, paperbark maple, slow grower
Malus "Evereste" masses of white/pink blossom, good autumn colour and loads of crabs for the birds in winter
Prunus Serrula, great bark, often called the "Sheraton" tree as bark is smooth and shiny like antique furniture.
Flowers, berries and autumn colour, absolute beauty in my book
I would choose rowan or sorbus too and think they are good in clay too
If you like silver birch try to get a multi-stemmed one. A cheap way of achieving this is to take 3 whips and plant them as a bunch, with the whips splayed out , of course.
This will be a stunner and try to use it on its own. Don't crowd it out, as you will lose the effect.