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With the worldwide shortage of trees causing an issue for both wildlife and the environment, planting a tree or set of trees in your garden is a great way to add a touch of natural beauty to your outdoor space.
Of course, there are many other benefits to planting trees as well; they encourage birds to nest, they provide shade in the hot summer months when they are established and given the type you choose, they can add to your gardens overall theme.
However, many people are only aware of the most popularly written about types of tree, such as oak, elm and beech. While these are all beautiful, they are merely a drop in the ocean regarding the array of different tree types which you can easily plant in your garden.
Without creating an enormous, scientific-looking list, we have broken down garden trees into different groups reflecting both their appearance and function to help you decide which type of tree would be best suited to your garden.
A great way to add a burst of colour to your outdoor space in the spring time is to plant a fruit tree. With an array of blossom colours ranging from white to dark pink (and everything in-between), there are many native fruit trees to choose from, depending on which country you live in.
In the UK, apple, pear and rowan are the most popular trees to plant in your back garden but there are many non-native trees that also thrive well in the temperamental British climate, such as plum and cherry trees.
Another benefit of planting a fruit tree is not only the beautiful blossom and aroma your garden will be flooded with, but they also provide a source of food for pollinators like butterflies and bees; perfect if you are planning a wildlife garden. Plus, when the fruit is ripe, you can pick your own home-grown fruit! Brilliant!
Want to take your garden in more of a landscape direction?
Ornamental trees are a beautiful centerpiece in any garden; with showy, bright flowers in the warm months and striking leaves in the cooler ones, they provide beauty all through the year. Bred solely for the purpose of being aesthetically pleasing, these trees are perfect for landscape or modern garden designs.
Of course, if you pick an ornamental tree, you will probably want it to be the focal point of your garden. Size is an important factor to consider as in a small garden, a large ornamental tree can look out of place.
Smaller trees, such as the Fauer tree (an ornamental pear tree) are a great option for smaller or minimalistic gardens, growing to a maximum height of 20 feet. If you want an ornamental tree that produces blossoms but not fruit, you can easily find these in any garden center or tree nursery.
Most types of ornamental trees have a rounded shape, an erect habit and a high or low spreading canopy, perfect for sitting under on hot summer days.
A literal ‘is exactly what it says on the tin,’ an evergreen is a tree that’s leaves are green regardless of the season. A very common evergreen tree in gardens across many parts of Europe are the coniferous trees, such as the pine and fir tree.
A common image of an evergreen tree is that of the traditional Christmas tree, but evergreen trees vary in their appearance greatly. Indeed, many ‘evergreen’ trees are not actually green and produce needles of foliage ranging from brown to red and even yellow. A key feature to watch for when trying to identify an evergreen tree in your garden is obviously the presence of year-round foliage.
A plus of these trees is they are a great source of shade and require very little general maintenance. However, they can easily dominate a garden space, as coniferous trees can grow well over 20 feet in height; the legal rule to the height of these trees in the UK is 2 meters, so you will need to cut them down regularly.
Suitable for landscape or wildlife gardens, evergreen trees make a spectacular feature that can enhance any garden space with ease.