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22/01/2014 at 18:28

Please can anyone recommend a tree for my small garden.  The tree will stand in the South East Corner and is required for screening above a 6ft fence, Ideally a tree with a single trunk if you know what I mean.  I would love a Robinia but know that that is too big, but a similar yellow or lime green leaved tree would be perfect.  Alternatively I am thinking about a crab apple tree, in pink but am open to any suggestions.  Any help will be much appreciated.

22/01/2014 at 18:45

Amelanchier Lamarckii (June Berry) is a nice tree that doesn't get too big, the leaves change from green to orange and have nice white flowers, with berries. You could get a multistem and cut it back if it starts to get too large. I have one in my garden and its quite a slow grower.

Or why not get an apple tree on a small rootstock, that way you get blossom and fruit.

Have a look at it with Google Images.

23/01/2014 at 14:27

I'd second that - Amelanchier would be my top choice, it is gorgeous in nearly every season.  It is not really a single-trunked tree - but I think you'd love it anyway.  It takes absolutely no looking after.

If not, then a weeping cherry? A bit of a one-season wonder, but fabulous when in flower and would have the single trunk you are after. 

But my best suggestion would be to go to a local tree nursery and ask for suggestions.  They'll always be really happy to talk - trees are their favorite subject after all! - and you won't be under any pressure to buy, just let them know that you are looking for advice in the first instance.  Have a look on the RHS website under 'nursery finder' and you'll see nurseries that are near to where you live.  (That's also a good idea because they will know your local soil conditions so will be able to talk to you about what trees will be happiest.)

Good luck!

23/01/2014 at 14:28

Just had other idea - what about a little acer?  Fab leaf colours available and they come in all sizes - again just get advice from a nursery.

23/01/2014 at 16:49

May I suggest Garrya elliptica? I once saw one, somewhere in Wiltshire and fell in love with it immediately! Had to have it, even if I live in the east of the Netherlands and the climate isn't perfect. But hey, it survived -15, and , it can grow into a nice little tree. Lovely lush, green foliage all year round and greyish/purple catkins during winter.

23/01/2014 at 19:06

Hi Sheila

I've planted some small crab apples (Everest, John Downie & Red Sentinel) in the last couple of years as well as some amelanchiers.

All been lovely but I think I'm getting the most value from my crab apple 'Red Sentinel'.It was smothered in pretty blossom in the spring for several weeks and has had the lovely red apples ever since - which is really cheering up my garden through the grey and dreary days we're having at the moment. The blackbirds have discovered it in the last 2 weeks but there are still lots of fruits left!

I've found 'Everest' fruits a bit too orange for my taste. 'John Downie' has beautiful fruit but was badly affected by scab - and the birds and squirrels had all the fruit by November!

Amelanchier is very pretty in the spring & autumn & gives nice dappled shade but I find it a little boring in the summer and winter - but underplanting helps deal with that. Amelanchiers have the added advantage that they don't mind being cut back quite hard if they start outgrowing their space.

Have fun!

23/01/2014 at 19:06

I love Garrya too, but they can get quite big.   Amelanchier would be my first choice, with pretty white blossom in April, and bronzish leaves until November.   My own is a single-trunk tree, 10 ft tall after 4 or 5 years.   A crab apple is also a good idea.   Good luck.

23/01/2014 at 22:33

I agree with all of that.  Golden Hornet is a lovely golden crab.  Depends what size you want.  My amelanchier is about 8' tall, but I trim it back, and grow a clematis up it for summer flowers.  I've got a winter-flowering cherry, about 20' tall after 15 years, light and airy and scattered with flowers all winter, with a final gorgeous burst of blossom in spring.  You could also try a cherry on a dwarfing rootstock, or any fruit tree, for that matter, and get a crop off it as well as flowers.  If you can keep off the birds, of course.  Lots of choice!

23/01/2014 at 22:59
All very interesting as i'm also looking for a fairly compact tree for a small garden. I'm developing a (kind of) Japanese theme out of a gravel and patio garden. The winter flowering cherry sounds really like it may just fit the bill.
24/01/2014 at 06:57

Theres already some great ideas above.  Thought i would also point you to an article that has just been published on the main part of this site which focuses on trees for small gardens, and might give you some more ideas.  

24/01/2014 at 07:29
Aladdin wrote (see)
All very interesting as i'm also looking for a fairly compact tree for a small garden. I'm developing a (kind of) Japanese theme out of a gravel and patio garden. The winter flowering cherry sounds really like it may just fit the bill.

Aladdin, have you had a look at Prunus mume Beni-chidori - the Japanese ornamental apricot - a gorgeous little tree with beautiful scented deep pink blooms and a really elegant form, flowering a little earlier than the cherries.  It doesn't grow large so is ideal for small gardens  

24/01/2014 at 19:03

Aladdin, you might consider a Kilmarnock willow.  It's a weeping willow top grafted  on a stem about 5' tall, like  a waterfall over an umbrella.  A very pretty and japanesy-looking tree, but you have to give it a haircut every year or it grows obstreperous and trails on the ground.  However, it's so low that's not hard.  Just don't plant it too close to walls or drains, because the willow roots wriggle right into any water round about, as my mother discovered - she had to have her drains re-dug to get the blockage hacked out! 

24/01/2014 at 22:10

I'm trying to visualize the planting site.  Truly some first class suggestions have been put forward.  At first I thought about a Japanese Maple, very attractive etc.   Anything from the Prunus family, flowering cherries etc.  Very nice, pleasing to the eye etc but.  Very prone to suckers and surface roots.  In all honesty, I would respectfully suggest, paying a tree nursery a visit.  Take along the odd photo of the garden etc.


Best wishes.

24/01/2014 at 23:27
Thanks Frances, that sounds a great the description "like a waterfall over an umbrella." I'm running a dry river bed through the gravel and it will fit in really nice.
24/01/2014 at 23:37
Thanks Dovefromabove, i have just checked it out. It says a grafted tree will suit a pot job done
25/01/2014 at 08:25

 Glad you like it.

25/01/2014 at 19:30

Aladdin, maybe I should have said to leave room for a Kilmarnock willow.  It's fairly narrow at first, but spreads sideways year by year.  After 6 years mine was about 6' wide.

26/01/2014 at 18:28
Hi Frances, i was wondering how wide it would get, though i expect a light prune would keep it fairly slim. Come to think of it...i could do with a light prune myself after Christmas
26/01/2014 at 23:12

I don't know if you could prune it to keep it slim.  The new branches shoot up and down and out before bending down to earth in that elegant way.  If you cut off all the 'out' bits, you might end up with a tree like a walking stick or a toilet brush.  Maybe you could cut off the underneath sprouts and branches to ease it up more than out - I dunno.   Best of luck anyway!

27/01/2014 at 10:15

There is a really keen offer being run by Hayloft at the moment for Bare Root trees. This includes triple up offer for 50p more than a single price. It came through on a recent email I had.

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