Choosing a Tree

Tips for deciding which tree has the best look, size and seasonal attributes for your yard.

Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything
  • 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 vilmorinii has seasonal interest in garden

    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 spring blossoms and 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.

  • indian bean tree has large parasol like leaves

    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.

  • grouping trees of same species makes visual impact

    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 is good stand alone tree for yard

    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 is an ideal choice for year around 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.

Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2010

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