A time for planting Winter is the time to plant bare root ornamental trees, fruit trees and hedging, when deciduous leaves have fallen and the tree is dormant. Availability of stock starts mid-November and goes through until mid-March. Bare root trees should be planted as soon as possible after lifting. At Trees for Gardens, we select your trees whilst they are still in the soil, then arrange lifting just prior to collection or delivery. This way we know the roots are in excellent condition and have not dried out in storage. Tree roots continue to develop slowly during the winter whenever the soil temperature is above freezing. This allows the tree to settle in prior to the rush of spring expectations. A time for architecture When choosing trees, do consider what they will give you during the winter months when the structure of a tree is displayed in all its glory. Many trees show their best form in winter when interesting bark and branch shapes come into their own. For example the beautiful golden weeping willow (Salix Chrysocoma) whose trunk glows in low winter sunshine, the white stemmed Himalayan birch (Betula Jacquemontii) whose wonderful bark colour stands out in low light and the glossy mahogany Tibetan cherry (Prunus Serrula Tibetica). For flowers, there is the popular winter flowering cherry (Prunus Autumnalis) bearing semi-double flowers during milder spells.
When evergreens come into their own There are few evergreen trees other than conifers and laurels. One of the most magnificent is the evergreen oak (Quercus ilex), with slightly serrated leaves (Ilex is holly). There are also Eucalyptus, Strawberry Tree (Arbutus) and some magnoias. Smaller trees/shrubs include some cotoneaster, privet, holly, box and bay. Harsh winters can cause leaf drop, but most will recover. Many trees and hedging are still haning onto their berries, for instance the lovely red berried crab apple (Malus Red Sentinel).
Each spring, flowering cherries take you by surprise, & nothing lifts the spirits more than a glimpse of blossoming pink or white flowers. They herald spring and reassure us that the gardening good times are back again.
Bare root trees can be planted until mid-March, but at Trees for Gardens we always have a large selection of container-grown trees which can be planted throughout spring & at any time of year. If you are planting in spring or summer, do remember to water them on a regular basis in their first season.
The leafy months
Tree leaves are worth taking the time to look at. They come in many colours and shapes and form the wallpaper of your garden. Their shape can create a different feel to an area. For example, narrow and thin as in willows (Salix), some mountain ash (Sorbus) and some eucalyptus, or small and fluttery as in birch (Betula), hornbeam (Carpinus), poplar (Populus). Sometimes you get REALLY big leaves such as the foxglove tree (Paulownia).
Leaf colour can bring a whole new dimension to your garden. Golden leaved trees that stay yellow throughout the growing season are hard to find but three come to mind. The golden acer (Acer Princeton Gold), the golden Indian bean tree (Catalpa bignonioides Aurea) and Honey Locust ‘Sunburst’ (Gleditsia triacanthos f. inermis ‘Sunburst’)
The blazing months
What a wonderful time of year. Acers, Liquidambars, Amelanchiers, Prunus and many more tree varieties wow us with leaf colours in a blaze of red, orange, yellow and every hue in between. Carefully placing a tree that has autumn colour in front of an evergreen backdrop will really enhance the contrast.
The leaves of Persian Ironwood (Parrotia Persica) slowly start turning dark red very early in the autumn and last several weeks. The golden Acer mentioned in the summer section, which has pure gold leaves all spring & summer, now has leaves of burnt amber and red.