Native trees for gardens
 
Trees bring another dimension to gardens offering beautiful blossom or wind pollinated flowers, fruits and seeds as well as shelter and food for invertebrates, birds and small mammals, habitat for mosses, lichens and fungi and welcome shade for us in summer.
 
There is a wonderful variety of trees suitable for gardens – species from all over the world as well as our own natives. To continue with our wild plants theme we introduce 8 British species suitable for gardens, with a brief glimpse of their significance and use throughout the centuries, and just some of the wildlife they attract. Trees attract a greater number of invertebrate species than flowers or shrubs due to their size, though of course one garden tree will not have all its associated species present since the insects (and birds)  have different geographical range and choice of habitat.
 
Trees take up a lot of space, especially as they mature, and unless you have a really big garden it is important that you think hard about what you need from the relatively few trees for which you have space.  You have your own aesthetic choices (evegreens for winter, blossom for spring and fruit for autumn).  Think of how you can use their height to block out nasty views, or where they could provide summer shade when they are big enough.
 
In addition to making fine specimen trees, many of these species may be pruned and maintained as a shrub or planted within a hedge. Take a walk around your local area to discover the habits and growth of local native species before choosing one or more for your garden. Most of these trees can be established from small seedlings, bare rooted ‘whips’ or standards, and generally the younger the plant, the better it will grow and outstrip larger and expensive potted alternatives.
 
Dead wood in the form of twigs, branches and standing deadwood is also important for invertebrates for habitat and breeding, such as, for example, the lesser stag beetle Dorcus parallelipipedus.
 
 
 
Our recommended small garden trees  Click on the pictures or links to go to the pages
 
 
 
               Hazel                          Alder                             Birch                         Bird-cherry                      Hawthorn   
        Rowan                       Crab apple                     
 
 
Further Reading
 
Bean W.J. (1976) (8th edition) Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles. John Murray. London.
Hemery, G. and Simblet, S. (2021) THe New Sylva.  Bloomsbury Publishing
Miles, A. (1999). Silva, the Tree in Britain. Ebury Press.
Mitchell, A. (1994) reprint. Trees of Britain and Northern Europe. Collins Field Guide. London.
Phillips, R. (1978). Trees in Britain, Europe and North America. Macmillan, London.
Rackham, O. (1993). reprint. The History of the Countryside. J M Dent. London.
Rackham, O. (2006). Woodlands. The New Naturalist Library, Collins. London.
Rackham, O. (1993). Trees and Woodland in the British Landscape. J M Dent. London.
Randall, R.E. (1975). Trees in Britain. Jarrold Colour Publications. Norwich.
 
 
 
Page written by Caroline Ware, compiled by Steve Head
           Hazel                          Alder                             Birch        
Native trees for gardens
 
Trees bring another dimension to gardens offering beautiful blossom or wind pollinated flowers, fruits and seeds as well as shelter and food for invertebrates, birds and small mammals, habitat for mosses, lichens and fungi and welcome shade for us in summer.
 
There is a wonderful variety of trees suitable for gardens – species from all over the world as well as our own natives. To continue with our wild plants theme we introduce 8 British species suitable for gardens, with a brief glimpse of their significance and use throughout the centuries, and just some of the wildlife they attract. Trees attract a greater number of invertebrate species than flowers or shrubs due to their size, though of course one garden tree will not have all its associated species present since the insects (and birds)  have different geographical range and choice of habitat.
 
Trees take up a lot of space, especially as they mature, and unless you have a really big garden it is important that you think hard about what you need from the relatively few trees for which you have space.  You have your own aesthetic choices (evegreens for winter, blossom for spring and fruit for autumn).  Think of how you can use their height to block out nasty views, or where they could provide summer shade when they are big enough.
 
In addition to making fine specimen trees, many of these species may be pruned and maintained as a shrub or planted within a hedge. Take a walk around your local area to discover the habits and growth of local native species before choosing one or more for your garden. Most of these trees can be established from small seedlings, bare rooted ‘whips’ or standards, and generally the younger the plant, the better it will grow and outstrip larger and expensive potted alternatives.
 
Dead wood in the form of twigs, branches and standing deadwood is also important for invertebrates for habitat and breeding, such as, for example, the lesser stag beetle Dorcus parallelipipedus.
 
Our recommended small garden trees  Click on the pictures or links to go to the pages
 
 
 
      Bird-cherry                      Hawthorn                     Juniper   
          Juniper                         Rowan                     Crab apple           
 
 
Further Reading
 
 
Bean W.J. (1976) (8th edition) Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles. John Murray. London.
Hemery, G. and Simblet, S. (2021) THe New Sylva.  Bloomsbury Publishing
Miles, A. (1999). Silva, the Tree in Britain. Ebury Press.
Mitchell, A. (1994) reprint. Trees of Britain and Northern Europe. Collins Field Guide. London.
Phillips, R. (1978). Trees in Britain, Europe and North America. Macmillan, London.
Rackham, O. (1993). reprint. The History of the Countryside. J M Dent. London.
Rackham, O. (2006). Woodlands. The New Naturalist Library, Collins. London.
Rackham, O. (1993). Trees and Woodland in the British Landscape. J M Dent. London.
Randall, R.E. (1975). Trees in Britain. Jarrold Colour Publications. Norwich.
 
 
Page written by Caroline Ware, compiled by Steve Head
       Garden Wildplants
             Garden Wildplants