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What kind of trees are you thinking about? The obvious ones are acers, and miniature fruit trees designed to go in pots.
Yew can do well in pots, as can holly - they lend themselves to being clipped and kept to a manageable size and give formality and structure to your garden - just remember that they will need good quality compost - I find John Innes No 3 loam is the best one to use for trees - and this makes the pots heavy so if you want to move them around, plan how you're going to do this well in advance.
You'll have difficulty getting a lot of height as there's a to what a pot can support - bigger trees need more water than you can get from a pot. How about corkscrew willow - that can get to about six foot?
I have grown a Silver Birch in a pot and it is doing well as you can see. I have also got Lilacs and they flower beautifully every year. Anything can be grown in a pot if you water and feed well.
Ive just bought a corkscrew willow at a local fete for 2 pounds (cant be bad eh). Its going to be grown in a pot. I think it will look grand!
I've got a eucalyptus in a pot. The small leaved variety, very dainty. I've kept it like a round lollypop shape on one tall stem. I did not want to plant in the garden and have a 50ft monster like a neighbour of mine! I've also done the same with a bay tree which stands about 5ft tall. How high were you hoping to go? Remember that the taller the tree, the deeper the roots want to go, which may be restrictive if they're in pots.
As I have said many, many times, to everyones boredom I imagine - you can grow anything in a pot as long as you are prepared to put the work into watering, feeding and caring for it all year round I have an oak tree, several acers, and quite a few other trees and shrubs in pots, including a golden catalpa and some Japanese flowering cherries, most there for several years, all doing well. The only one which was sulking this year was the magnolia stellata, which probably wants taking out if its pot, root trimmed and fresh compost - will do it when I can find a spare pair of hands - hopefully attached to someone else.
The downside is that you really do have to keep a very close eye on them and give them plenty of atttention and care - which is why we don't go away in the summer - but with 400 plus pots in the garden I can't ask my neighbour to pop in for half an hour every two or three days to water!!! We get on well, but that might just put an end to it. I'm not suggesting everyone, or anyone, should be as daft about pots as I am, the point is that you can grow anything in a pot if it is big enough, the pot that is, and you are willing to act as mother earth for the plant.
Goodness me! I thought I had a lot of pots (about 100), but your 400 plus pots really takes my breath away. You must be a real slave to the watering. Even with seven waterbutts on our house and two on our greenhouse I find it hard to keep any water in them. And I find I need to water the pots regularly, even when it is raining sometimes.
Well, some of the pots are so large and have such mature plants in them that in fact it is extremley rare that they get any watering at all. Some of the trees are now immobile as the roots have almost certainly gone throughthe bottom of the pot and are happily meandering around the world!! The bulb pots get put out of sight by the shed in summer and can be ignored till they start again in Spring, and provided you give things like clematis and smaller shrubs a really good soaking when you do water, they don't need watering as often as you might think. Having said that, the potted summer bedding, the baskets and bowls and so on do of course need alot of watering, but it is a self inflicted problem, so I just get on with it. It is rare that we have lost anything from not being able to water enough, though it does get tight sometimes and then hard decisions have to be made. Many of the pots sit in beds between ground planted things, and get some ground water as well as rain or my efforts. You are right about watering in the rain, some things jsut need it as the leaves are so large that the water runs off them onto the ground not the pot - but as my neighbours are alrady convinced I'm pretty mad, they don't notice any more!
Perhaps us gardeners are all pretty mad! We only water the veggies and the pots and hanging baskets (I don't dare ask how many of them you have!). Plants in the garden have to survive drought once they have been watered enough just to settle them in when newly planted. If they die, they are not the right plant for my garden.
One thing to bear in mind when planting trees in pots is the wind. I have just had to give away a five-year old loquat tree. Even though it was in a large pot and kept watered to keep it heavy, the wind kept blowing it over, as it grew very top heavy. I have given it to a friend with a very sheltered space for it.
Glad to hear not everyone is quite as mad as we are!! Whar started as a convenience as work demanded that we moved house every year for a few years, has become little short of an obsession since we settled here 15 years ago. You are absolutely right about wind and things in pots, but eventually when you have enough they become a wind baffle in themselves. Meanwhile things like yur doubtless lovely loquat and some acers really do not like the wind.
Pouring with rain today so no watering, and the butts will fill up too - sorry for the Jubilee celebrations, but from a purely selfish point of view, it is good stuff.
Watch out for silver birch, it gets very tall and needs a great deal of weight to stop it falling over (mine is atually planted in the garden, not in a pot), I have some full grown willow trees in pots - but they are less than 1 inch high so perhaps don't quite count. One is slightly larger as 12 inches, our contorted willow is also a ground dweller.
Silver birch is such a lovely tree, but there are many different varieties. How about trying the weeping one, which can be pruned back to a sort of umbrella shape? Be sure and research, as some varieties grow very tall indeed.
I didn't mind keep picking up my loquat tree each time it went over, but in the end it broke the very expensive big pot it was planted in. Enough was enough, but I do miss it!
I too am a slave to my pots but would probally have to employ another slave to help with the watering if I had as many as Bookertoo !!
I 've got a love affair going on with Sambucus at the moment - one's a nigra black lace ( which looks a bit like a black acer ) and the other is a Black Beauty. Just a little bit different . They are both growing well in large pots and you can restrict the size of them. They both don't mind a good haircut and the only problem I've had with them is the occasional bout of blackfly but sort that out with a good squirt of soapy water. The flowers are pretty as well.
Anyone got any info on bird of paradise ( can't spell the strez name !! ) Mine hasn't flowered this year - got flower stalks but think they've perished.