How to choose ornamental trees?

Ornamental trees are those that will beautify the garden, either all year round, or a part of it. In addition, depending on the species, they can also give a very pleasant shade, a characteristic that must be taken into account especially when we live in an area where it is very hot.

Now, How to choose ornamental trees? The climate, the soil in the garden, and the needs of each species are details that must be found out so as not to make mistakes. And it is that, unfortunately, it is very easy to commit them, but it is also easy to avoid them. To do this, it only takes some time to follow the advice that we offer you.

Choose your tree depending on the space available

This is advice that is not always followed, and it is essential so that there are no problems in the future. Regardless of the species, if when the space grows small, a lot can happen. For example, its roots can lift the ground or damage pipes, or its leaves can overshadow the house.

Thus, It is necessary that you inform yourself about the adult size that the tree you like will grow, as well as whether or not its roots are invasive.. Don’t worry, here we recommend some depending on how your garden is:

Ornamental trees for small gardens

These trees are those that generally do not measure more than 10 meters, have thin trunks and also tend to tolerate pruning very well. As for their roots, they are not invasive:

  • Purple-leaved plum (Prunus cerasifera var. pissardi): This is a deciduous tree that has purple leaves throughout the year, until they fall off in winter. It can reach 15 meters, but the most normal thing is that it stays at 6 meters. During spring it produces white flowers. Resists up to -18ºC, and pruning. See file.
  • pittosporum (Pitosporum tobira): It is a shrub that can be used as a 7 meter tree. It is evergreen, and produces very pretty white and aromatic flowers. It is also known as a Chinese orange blossom, and it tolerates pruning (in fact, it is widely cultivated as a hedge). Resists up to -7ºC. See file.
  • Using (Common syringe): it is a deciduous tree that reaches 7 meters in height. Its trunk branches from the base, but it tolerates pruning well. In spring it produces flowers in white or pink panicles. Resists up to -12ºC. See file.

Ornamental trees for large gardens

Large trees are those that need a lot of space to grow, so at least you have to plant them at a distance of five meters from the wall, tall plants, as well as pipes and paved floors. But due to their size, they are the ones that usually give the best shade:

  • Real maple (Acer platanoides): it is a deciduous tree that can reach 35 meters in height, and its trunk measures around 1 meter in diameter. During the fall its leaves turn reddish before falling. It resists frosts down to -18ºC. See file.
  • Cedar of San Juan (Portuguese cypress): it is an evergreen conifer that reaches a maximum height of 40 meters, with a straight trunk up to 2 meters in diameter. Resists up to -7ºC.
  • Common beech (Fagus sylvatica)– This is a deciduous tree that grows between 35 and 40 meters tall with a trunk diameter of up to 2 meters. Leaves can be green or purple in variety Fagus sylvatica ‘Atropurpurea’. Resists up to -18ºC. See file.

What kind of land do you have?

Choosing ornamental trees, and doing it right, would be impossible if we didn’t know what kind of soil we have in the garden. Thus, It is highly recommended to know what the pH of the soil we have isand its nutritional richness. The fastest way to find out all this is to request that we do a soil study, but another option is to do it ourselves, following these steps:

  1. First we will take two tablespoons of earth.
  2. Then we put them in a glass with distilled water.
  3. Finally, we will add a little vinegar.

In the event that it bubbles, then the earth is alkaline. If you do nothing, we will repeat everything but instead of adding vinegar we will add a tablespoon of baking soda.

If it bubbles, then the soil is acidic, but if it remains the same, it is neutral. Let’s now look at some examples of trees for acidic or neutral soils and others for limestone soils:

  • Trees for acidic or neutral soils:
    • Japanese maple (Maple palmate)
    • Magnolia (all varieties)
    • sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua)
    • American oak (quercus rubra)
  • Trees for alkaline soils:
    • Hackberry (Southern Celts)
    • Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens)
    • Common yew (Taxus baccata)
    • Shade banana (Platanus x Spanish)

Does it absorb water quickly?

Once this is known, it is necessary to find out if the water drains well, or if on the contrary it remains flooded for a long time. How? Very easy: making a hole in the ground, about 50 x 50 centimeters, and filling it with water. Then you just have to calculate how long it takes to be absorbed.

It would be good if it did not take more than a few minutesas that would mean that the land is very well drained. But if it takes hours, before planting the tree we will have to install some drainage system, or else mix the earth with a substrate such as perlite (for sale here!) or arlita so that the roots are well aerated.

Be aware of the weather

Climate is important to plants

Although we put it last, in reality that does not mean that it is not important … because it is, and a lot. If frost or snowfall occurs in your area, you will not be able to grow tropical trees. And if, on the other hand, you live in a place where temperatures are mild and / or warm every month, planting a tree native to temperate climates would be a mistake since it would not survive.

The best thing to do to avoid mistakes is to plant native treessince they are the ones that will live very well in the garden, and those that, in addition, will not need much care once they have rooted. But if we are looking for something different, it is also highly advisable that if in the place where we live there are usually droughts, snowfalls and / or any other extreme meteorological phenomenon, we look for species that can withstand them.

For example, for a tropical climate, trees like the flamboyant (Delonix direction), Enterolobium, or Bombax will be at ease in your garden. On the contrary, if the climate is temperate or cold, you will have to choose others such as oaks (Quercus), pines (Pinus), maples (Acer), or Aesculus among others.

With this information we hope that you can enjoy your garden with the appropriate ornamental trees.

How to choose ornamental trees?

Leave a Reply

Scroll to top
%d bloggers like this: