Planting a tree can benefit even the most compact garden, by attracting wildlife, cleaning the air, and adding colour and interest throughout the seasons. But what are the best trees for a small garden?
Bay tree, eunymous and the Japanese maple are among some of the top choices fora compact outdoor area.
Every garden deserves a tree and spring is the perfect time to plant one. Trees can bring you flowers in spring and summer, radiant leaf colour in autumn, plus interesting bark and stems in winter.
Trees can be multifunctional too – screening an unattractive view or helping to filter noise and air pollution if you live near a busy road. They also benefit nature significantly: providing pollen for insects and shelter for birds, and converting air-borne carbon dioxide into oxygen.
Finally, if you’re concerned about your tree growing too tall, don’t worry: many are suitable for the smallest of gardens, and most can be pruned regularly to keep them compact. Or simply plant your tree in a large container.
Sarah Squire, Chairman of Squire’s Garden Centres commented: ‘If there is one thing I think we could all do for our world fairly easily it is plant a tree.
‘Trees are fantastic as a habitat and food source for wildlife and as a source of carbon capture. They also give structure and architecture to a garden. There are trees for every size and shape of garden, from a small acer in a pot on a balcony or a gorgeous flowering cherry in a back garden, to birch, whitebeam and hornbeam (my personal favourite) for larger spaces.’
The best trees for small gardens or patio pots are:
Bay Tree (Laurus nobilis)
Japanese Maple (Acer Palmatum)
Christmas Berry (Photinia ‘Little Red Robin’)
Privet (Ligustrum) Topiary Lollipop
Witch Hazel (Hamamelis)
How to plant a tree in a pot:
1. Choose a container with plenty of room to house the rootball, with space to grow.
2. Most trees thrive in loam-based compost, such as John Innes No 3.
3. Water regularly – keep the compost moist.
4. Use a slow release fertiliser every spring to keep the plant healthy.
5. Plant a tree and watch it grow over the coming years. It will benefit the environment and wildlife for years to come. It’s a lifelong investment.