Choosing a Tree

Tips for deciding which tree has the best look, size and seasonal attributes for your yard.
From: DK Books - How to Grow
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Photo By: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

amelanchier lamarckii has rich autumnal tints

In addition to flowers and fruit, some trees offer sculptural shapes, colored bark, vibrant fall color and differing degrees of shade, or a combination of these qualities. Decide what you want most from a tree before you buy one.

Sorbus Berry Plant Provides Dark Green Foliage Backdrop

You should also prioritize the qualities you want from your tree, whether it's esthetic beauty, structure, privacy or wildlife habitat. Mountain ash has attractive foliage. With spring flowers, summer berries and rich autumnal tints, juneberry has a lot to offer and is ideal for smaller plots.

Prunus Serrula Has Copper Bark

Some trees have several seasons of interest, and offer great garden value. Paperbark cherry has spring blossoms and coppery-red bark for winter appeal.

linset has spring flowers and winter fruit

Both 'Liset' crabapple and Vilmoran mountain ash have spring flowers and fall fruits.

Parasol Like Indian Bean Tree

A tree with a good canopy, such as the Indian bean tree, provides shade from hot summer sun when planted close to a south-facing seating area. Large-leaved trees can also help create a tropical effect in the garden. Try the fragrant snowbell, with its scented white flowers, or the evergreen loquat, an ideal choice for year-round privacy.

Striking White Himalayan Birch

Grouping several trees of the same species, such as the Himalayan birch, makes a strong visual impact. Also remember that trees cast shade, and draw large quantities of moisture and nutrients from the soil, affecting other plants growing nearby. They can also undermine foundations with their roots, so be careful to site your tree at a distance from buildings.

Yellow Birch Tree

Trees play a number of useful and decorative roles in the garden. Where there's space and a clear line of sight, consider a tree with a strong structure, such as a birch or decorative cherry, to act as a stand-alone focal point.

Loquat Tree Aids Privacy

Trees are an investment in time, money and space, so pick one that suits your garden. Soil type and aspect are important considerations, but so too is the amount of space you have available; consider how large the tree will grow.