Mature trees to enhance your garden

Mature trees to enhance your garden

Mature trees play an important role in any garden design, so the type of trees you want to incorporate into your plans should be very carefully considered.

Arundel Arboretum is a leading stockist of evergreen and deciduous mature trees. The term “mature tree” refers to the age of the tree rather than the height. Depending upon the variety, you can have a mature tree that is 70’+ (e.g. Fagus sylvatica) or 3’ high as can be found with some varieties of Japanese maples. There are therefore, mature trees suitable for all gardens. We have a wide range of mature trees that will create and enhance your garden design.

At Arundel Arboretum, we are able to advise on the best choices for you, taking into account all of your requirements. A few points to consider include:

1. Evergreen or Deciduous

An evergreen tree will give all year round screenage and interest, and your choices include standard (with a 6’ clear stem) or half standard (with a 3’ clear stem). The benefit of standards and half standards is that you can plant smaller shrubs underneath. A magnificent specimen standard tree is Magnolia Grandiflora (Bull Bay). Magnolia Grandiflora has glossy, green leathery leaves with a reddish-brown underside. It produces large, creamy-white fragrant globular shaped flowers in the autumn, rather than the spring like other Magnolias. A row of Magnolia Grandiflora look stunning and give an ideal screen. It does not grow quickly, and can be easily pruned to keep in shape. Overall, it requires minimal maintenance. It is best planted in a fairly sheltered position, with well drained soil, with sun or part shade. It would not be happy if it were exposed to cold, drying winds.

A mature deciduous tree will provide shade during the summer months. It will bring a natural beauty and structure to any garden. Deciduous trees also have enormous benefits to birds and wildlife.  They can produce berries for the birds and bees will pollinate the flowers. A mature deciduous tree to consider is Crataegus persimilis ‘Prunifolia’. This is a variety of Cockspur Thorn. In our opinion, it is one of the most attractive of thorn trees. Crataegus persimilis ‘Prunifolia’ produces green, glossy leaves, which turn a blaze of orange\red\yellow in the autumn. It produces masses of white flowers in May, followed by bunches of large, rich red fruit from autumn onwards. This tree can stand heavy pruning and it is an exceptional tree for wildlife. It is a very hardy tree.

2. Planting and Watering

The correct planting of any tree or shrub, is of vital important and will be the difference between success and failure. It is most important that the top of the root system is left slightly proud of the surface, so that the root system can breathe. Please see our Planting Guide for further advice. If a tree or shrub is planted too deeply, it will stunt the growth, stop it flowering and eventually kill the tree.

Watering your tree during the first year of establishment is of equal importance. The tree should be watered when first planted, and then you need to work with your ground conditions, as everyone’s will be different. In some circumstances, you will be watering every day, others every other day or 3-4 days. As a general rule, if the ground is wet, walk away. When the ground starts to dry out, water and then check again in a day’s time, until you are happy that you are working with your ground conditions.

3. Maintenance

Evergreen trees require little maintenance. It is advisable to lightly prune to keep the shape and remove dead, diseased or damaged branches. Despite the name, evergreen trees will naturally shed some of their foliage each year, so there will be some leaf clearance to undertake. It is wise to avoid pruning in late summer\early autumn, as new growth may be stimulated without time to harden off before winter. This could leave the tree susceptible to disease.

A deciduous tree will require a little more maintenance, but this will help to keep the tree healthy and looking good and your garden will benefit from this. Pruning should be limited to removing broken or damaged branches or branches that are crossing others, or if they are growing towards the trunk.

Fertilising evergreen and deciduous trees for the first year of establishment is very important. Our blog, Caring for your Specimen Plants will advise you on the correct fertilising for the first season.

Our knowledgeable staff at Arundel Arboretum will be very happy to help you source your mature trees for your garden – please do pop in to see the extensive, quality stock we have available.

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