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Trees Trees And More Trees Please

Trees Trees And More Trees Please

Trees are probably the most important plant you can add to your garden.

Not only do they contribute to the air that we breath they are profoundly important for wildlife.  They provide shelter and homes for insects, berries and fruits for mammals and birds and shade for some plants, ourselves and our pets.  In the urban landscape tree lined streets can dramatically reduce the heat that reaches the ground in the summer, relieve day to day stress and significantly absorb noise and pollution.

Trees give screening from our neighbours and passers by and allow us areas of privacy. The evergreen Prunus laurocerasus Rotundifolia, Cherry Laurel, with its large bright green tough leaves will certainly do that.  They are easy to grow and just require trimming to shape with secateurs once a year.  They will grow well in sun or shade, in any soil except where waterlogged to a height of 2 to 4m. Remove the lower branches if you want to grow other plants near so they form a top evergreen screen. Prunus Lusitanica, Portugal Laurel, is similar but has a smaller and thinner leaf and flowers in April with a white candle like flowers on red stems.

Bamboos make for a more modern boundary as long as you don’t allow them to spread into your borders and get out of hand. Grow them in large pots of John Innes No. 2 compost or a trench lined with paving slabs to prevent the underground stems invading your borders or the neighbours’ garden.  Their upright clumps of long canes provide a barrier that will sway pleasingly in the breeze.  They will grow happily in most soils in sun or semi-shade.  Varieties to choose are green stemmed Fargesia Murielae, yellow Physostachys Aurea, black Physostachys Nigra, or red Fargesia Volcano.

Trees have many different foliage colours, shapes and textures depending on the variety and can add drama and contrast to any garden setting.  If light airy foliage is your choice plant one of the Birches like Betula Jacquemontii which has gorgeous white stems.  If you prefer strong colours then the purple leaved Prunus pissardii Nigra or the crimson palmate foliage of Acer Crimson King are good choices.  Catalpa bignoides Aurea has large soft buttercup yellow leaves or Acer Drummundii with striking more leathery white green variegated foliage. Acer Flamingo and Acer Printz Handjery are very compact so ideal for any garden with shrimpy pink new leaves in springtime. The yellow or black foliage of the Sambucus Golden Tower and Black Tower add a big shot of colour to any garden too.

Trees create drama and perspective. The pencil shaped Cupressus Sempervirens seen in Spain and Italy grows well here in the UK as well as long as the soil is not too wet. The weeping form of Willows and the stature of our native Oak, Ash, and Beech are magnificent if space allows. The beautiful Crab Apples and Flowering Cherries dominate the spring scene with their colours and spectacular displays. Prunus pendula Rubra and Prunus Snow Showers are small trees for sun and cast shade for other plants such as Pulmonaria, Hosta, Ferns, Bluebells and Primroses.

There are many trees that flower in April including the blossom of edible Apples, Plums, Pears, Gages and Quinces or stately ornamental Magnolias.  Amelanchier canadensis, The Snowy Mespelis has discreet beautiful white flowers followed by plum-coloured leaves which fade to green and then in Autumn turn to a kaleidoscope of yellow, and red before they fall.  The flag pole cherry or Prunus Amanogawa is an upright form that can grow to 4 meters tall but only 1 meter wide and is covered with white pink flowers for a few weeks at this time of year.  Prunus Okame, on the other hand has masses of carmine pink flowers and a lollypop shape, both have gorgeous autumn colour.

There are small trees or shrubs that can be pruned to look like trees but in miniature. Plants suitable for this include Viburnum tinus Spirit, Photinia Pink Marble, Euonymus Bravo, Thuja Smaragd and Photinia Little Red Robin. All will happily grow in pots on a Patio in Sun or part Shade.

The main driver of climate change is the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. Trees utilise this as a source of nutrition so the message on the block is

SAVE OUR PLANET PLANT MORE TREES

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