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What to look for in a new tree
Even a small garden can benefit greatly from a tree. This guide
is designed to help you determine if a new tree would benefit your
garden and how to get the most from a new tree. Selecting the right
species of tree for the right place is the most important
consideration when doing any planting. Consider the benefits you
would like the tree to provide as well as the problems you wish to
Why do you want a new tree?
Trees provide shade and shelter with their attractive foliage
and can liven up a garden by attracting all manner of wildlife –
birds, butterflies and bats, for instance. Evergreen trees provide
year-round greenery even when your flowers are dormant during the
winter months. You could grow your own fruit in your garden, free
from the pesticides used on commercially grown fruit or you could
just sit under your tree on a summer’s day, enjoying the shade.
Year round colour
Some trees will provide you with constant colour all year round.
Other species can provide spectacular displays of foliage in the
autumn, interesting bark during the winter and fresh new growth in
the spring. The loss of leaves in winter can also be used to open
up areas of garden and will increase the levels of light.
If you would like your tree to attract more wildlife to your
garden, consider planting a native species of tree. Native trees
provide more opportunities for food and places to live for British
creatures than introduced varieties.
Things to consider
In small gardens or near buildings:
- What is the mature size of the tree?
- Will it be suitable for this location in 10, 20 or 50
- Is the fruit or foliage poisonous?
- Does it have thorns?
Be careful when siting your new tree – underground pipes, drains
and cables can be dangerous. This especially true when you hit them
with a spade or pickaxe. Remember – you will have your tree for a
long time, so consider whether any overhead cables could become a
Bare-rooted or root-balled trees should be planted between
autumn and spring to protect the trees during planting and to allow
time for them to establish before the heat of the summer. While
container grown trees can be planted at any time of year, extra
care will be required when planting and additional watering is
required if you choose to plant during the summer. Extremes of
temperature should be avoided – if the part of your garden where
you plan to site your tree is very exposed to the elements, it is
likely to cause damage to the tree's root system.
Moving your tree
When transporting trees, be careful to keep both the leaves and
roots protected from the elements. Foliage and roots will rapidly
lose moisture when exposed to high wind or transported uncovered on
a trailer. This damage can result in the death of the tree. To
avoid this, cover all exposed roots and branches with sacking
before driving away from the garden centre.