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If I could give one piece of advice to new gardeners

22 comments


it would be to check out the size at maturity of any new tree you are wanting to plant. Don’t be carried away by the prettiness of saplings in the garden centre. There are so many questions on here about cutting back trees that have got too big or even trying to convert them into shrubs. And remember they get wide as well as tall, and remember the potential root spread before selecting a site! Rant over.

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Comments

 

Good advice, Stera! Also, don't be misled by "grows to xft in 10 years" because - after that - watch out!

19 Aug, 2014

 

Well said Sue, (Steragram) ...... I only wish one of my neighbours had seen this a few years ago. Fortunately it's over the road from us and not next door..... They planted 4 lovely silver birch saplings 18" from the boundary fence with his neighbours? The frustrating things is, it's a large garden... You want to see the size of them now.

20 Aug, 2014

 

Can I just add "and shrubs"to your wise advice......

they too can in the right conditions grow huge in a short time, this year has seen an explosion of growth.......

20 Aug, 2014

 

Good thinking Pam, and I wish I had paid more attention myself - just hoping Physocarpus Diablo can be kept rather smaller than it wants to be! I usually check but on this occasion was seduced by pics on here and didn't check!

There have been so many questions on this lately its so hard not to preach! (You probably recall the particular one that triggered this...lots of good advice which the questioner then decided to ignore. And you feel so sorry for the poor tree))

Excellent idea Snoop, but they would sell fewer, so little chance of that. Labels often don't say acid or alkali loving either. I remember watching a poor camellia die slowly, planted too near to a some concrete that was affecting the pH of the nearby soil. I did pluck up my courage to tell the owner what to do to save it whe I met her over the fence, but to no avail. Its such a waste.

Yes Alan, those saplings must have lookes so tempting in the garden centre...

20 Aug, 2014

 

Totally agree with you all. In urban gardens trees should not be planted. Shrubs are much better. Trees grow and grow and then you need a tree surgeon to cut them down. Everyone wants to plant trees next to their fence when, in fact, their neighbours have the darned things shading their garden, shedding leaves and dropping seeds. Large trees are beautiful but only in parks and woodland, unless you have a stately home with a garden to go with it!!!

20 Aug, 2014

 

Hi Sue, I totally agree witheverything that has been said, some people even buy a young tree, and then want to keep it in a pot, not realising that the pot is just a convenient way of keeping it until it gets sold, Derek.

20 Aug, 2014

 

All the comments are so true, we are able to plant trees here, they do very well, some we planted millenium are so very tall in only14 years, even the ones that went in 5 years ago have shot up this year
Fine for us, thats what we wanted but none suitable for gardens....

21 Aug, 2014

 

Oh yes, that "next to the fence " question - I never know whether to tell people when they show pics of their garden with new trees or shrubs right up against the fence. There was one only last week and nobody had the courage to say anything...(Have to confess I did it myself in my first garden...)

Pam you are fortunate to have room to plant big trees!

21 Aug, 2014

 

We are Stera, so pleased they like it here......

22 Aug, 2014

 

Good advice ! I've made that mistake several times ...

22 Aug, 2014

 

I planted an amelanchier & was told it was a bush. There is one at Dunham Massey or Tatton & it is taller than the Hall.

I take trees out but many are just tooooooooo big!
We have false acacias at the back & a pittosporum that are the biggest I have ever seen and the birch is getting there!

16 Sep, 2014

 

Wow - I didn't know amelanchiers grew as big as that - Cross that one off the wish list then!

17 Sep, 2014

 

There is one type of Amelanchier that is grown as a shrub - we have one - but (sorry) can't find the name until I get home.

8 Nov, 2014

 

That's nice to know. And pittosporum getting huge too? Goodness, its very easy to make mistakes isn't it?

8 Nov, 2014

 

VERY easy, Sue!

9 Nov, 2014

 

We planted a Prunus Amanagowa at our previous abode. Naively believing it would stay slender. Alas, after about 10 -15 years it was a big stroppy adolescent and later a muscular bully after 20 years. Our hawthorn, which a gang of sparrows adore, is slowly getting rather large. I am loath to have it cut back, as the hawthorns in the street are so ugly after being topped out.I suppose the guilty secret is.....Keeeeep mooooving house, and leave the next unwary occupant to pick up the downsize or removal tab.

9 Nov, 2014

 

Lol lol Dorjac!

9 Nov, 2014

 

this is one time when size matters! too big, too close to the house, too much of everything.

16 Nov, 2014

 

Too true!

16 Nov, 2014

 

I'm pleading guilty, m'lud. I've planted a camellia against a wall in my tiny back yard and a Magnolia in a (big) pot. I know that one day they will have outgrown their allotted spaces but I'm hoping that I'll be in the ground myself by then and won't have the agony of having to dispose of them.
But on the sensible side, I am being very strict about not growing rose other than trying to establish Dr Van Fleet from a cutting of a cutting of a cutting.... over 50 years.

26 Nov, 2014

 

Totally understandable considering the size of your plot - circumstances alter cases - I hope they both do well for you and you are around for a long time to enjoy them.. The way you are tackling your yard is impressive. Best of luck with your rose.

26 Nov, 2014

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