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I want to put a SMALL tree against a north facing 6ft high fence that my neighbours have put up. Can  anyone suggest options I can consider, please.  I wouldn't want it to grow taller than 10 ft. I like Rowan, but they grow much too big!  Thank you for any adv ice, Maggie


I would suggest an Amelanchier,  Maggie

Pam x

North facing aspect may be a problem but try either a laburnum vossii or perhaps one of the smaller varieties of crab apple.  Nice leaf colour on some varieties in spring and autumn combined with fruit and flower in the spring/ autumn winter.  I have recently planted several trees bought from hilliers at £40 each.  Nice selection and they do mail order as well.

My first thought would be Amelanchier, mainly because I'd love one, but would have to wait till my neighbour's Rowan goes belly up. Lovely as the Rowan is, it is a bit big for the size of the garden. I think A. canadensis is a bit smaller than A.lamarkii, but they're both lovely. The RHS website says they'd be fine against a north wall.

The Laburnum vossii does look lovely though and not too big at 7m. Re the Crab apples Malus John Downie is lovely. Acer griseum too could be a good choice. Lots of choices! 


What about a sambucus nigra (black Elder) it says it can grow to 8 metres but not with me, you can prune it. It is very fast growing so you could have the height you want quickly. They root very easily from cuttings too



Have a look at Ptelia Trifoliata Aureum which has golden foliage in spring and  scented flowers. It can be grown as a shrub or small tree which will get, slowly, to 15' but has a light airy canopy.  Insects love the flowers.  I saw it in a garden I visited and have just ordered one to be collected from Wisley plant centre in a couple of weeks.

You could also consider a Tibetan cherry which is slow growing  to about 15' in 20 years -'Tibetica'_(Birch_Bark_Cherry_Tree) and has wonderful bark for winter interest.

I have both golden and purple/black leaved forms of sambucus.  I find the golden form does best as a shrub but have been able to cut out the lower branches of the Black Lace form to raise its canopy and make a small tree in my woodland corner.   I did this in autumn 2010 and it's looking great.  

I've done the same with a viburnum Bodnantense Dawn which provides scented flowers in early spring.  It does take a few years though before these shrubs are big enough to train as small trees.

Thats wonderful help, everyone. Thanks very much.  Maggie

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