Planting Trees in your Garden – How to Choose the Right one

The winter is a tough time for all of us, but especially the wildlife – after all they don’t have the benefit of homes with central heating or being able to pop to the supermarket to stock up on food! With many species of animal, bird and insect rapidly declining in the UK there has never been a better time to start caring for the wildlife in your own garden, and particularly during the winter when times are much harder for animals anyway.

One of the best things that you can do in the garden to provide for the local wildlife is to plant a tree. Trees which are native to the UK are homes and food sources to a huge variety of animals, and on a global level are also important in providing the oxygen that we breathe – so as well as doing something for the creatures in your own back garden they also help the planet as a whole.

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There are many types of native tree that you can put in your garden, so before you head out and buy yourself a sapling, it is a good idea to do a bit of research into the types of trees that may be more suitable for your garden. The first and most important thing to consider is the overall size that the tree will grow to. If your garden is smaller, it is best to avoid the much larger trees such as Oak and Ash – as well as being large above ground the roots can cause all sorts of problems below the ground, making their way under the garden and the foundations of the house and can also mean that you may need to have a drain lining company like come out to you as they are notorious for damaging the drains (as tree roots will naturally be drawn to a damp and watery place).

Once you have decided on the size of the tree, you can narrow your search down a lot. There are lots of trees that you can choose which provide berries in the autumn – some of these are also things that you can use for yourself in cooking too! For example, if you decide to plant a Blackthorn tree, in the Autumn you will be able to harvest some of the sloes (leaving some for the birds of course) with which you can create your own sloe gin! Holly also adds a beautiful festive touch to the garden as well as the berries providing much needed winter sustenance to the birds. Spiky trees like this are also a great burglar deterrent when planted around the edge of the garden!

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Rowan is another popular choice of tree for smaller gardens – it does not grow large and is very pretty, especially in the autumn when it lights up in fiery colours, awash with berries. It is also hardy, being capable of growing at high altitudes so great for a novice gardener!

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