Choosing the Right Trees for Your Garden

If you would like to improve your garden then one of the top things you can do is plant a tree. Even a very small garden could benefit from the addition of a dwarf variety and a larger garden can usually easily support one or two arboreal additions. Trees can provide visual interest, shade, they can filter dust and decrease urban air pollution, they can enhance privacy, provide useful biomass and materials for use in the home and garden and increase the biodiversity in your garden, providing food and a useful habitat for wildlife. But you should be sure to choose the tree that is right for you and for the conditions where you live.

Go Native:

While it can be tempting to choose from amongst the many different exotic tree species on the market, the novice gardener should be steered towards native trees when they first begin to establish their garden. Native trees are often the best adapted to the conditions where you live and are also best for the creatures that call your garden home. If you want to encourage native insect and animal life to your garden then native species are often the best way to go.

Size Matters:

One of the most important considerations in choosing the right tree is size. There is a wide variety of trees available and the smallest can even be container grown. Make sure you know how large the tree you choose will be at maturity and how long it will take to reach that size. You will also have the think about the climate and aspect of your garden and whether you would like a free standing specimen or one that can be trained against a wall or fence.

Evergreen or Deciduous?

Do you want autumn colour and a tree that will lose its leaves in the winter, or do you want the lush winter greenery of an evergreen tree? Deciduous trees can be useful for creating mulch and leaf mould while evergreens will provide colour year round in your garden.

Fruiting Trees:

If you are interested in growing at least some of your own food then planting a tree that provides an edible fruit is a great, low maintenance way to work towards that goal and is one of the first stages of planting a permaculture garden. Plant an apple tree, a plum, a cherry or in a sheltered and sunny spot, a more delicate fruiting tree. Once the tree starts to bear, you should be treated to a bountiful harvest year after year.

So once you have considered your garden and made a planting plan, why not plant a tree. The best time to plant one is in the autumn or in the spring once the soil begins to warm up. A tree will not only enhance your garden now and for years to come, it is also a good thing for our planet.

Quick Facts