Get Ideas FAQs

Yes and no. A true tree will not thrive indefinitely in a pot (except as a bonsai), unless that pot/planter is changed for a larger one every few years to accommodate for the expanding root system. Having said that, you can still get several years of enjoyment out of a tree planted in a pot, especially if you fertilise it regularly (this is crucial). It’s also cruciall to ensure the tree has ample access to water (without water-logging the pot). We would highly recommend an automatic watering system to achieve this. Slower and smaller growing varieties will of course last longer. When it comes to planting trees in pots, it’s best to think of this feature as you would a set of garden furniture. Garden furniture doesn’t last forever either but is still well worth the investment for the enjoyment it provides.

Leylandii can grow 3 feet per year or more given optimum conditions. They also grow to a very large mature height if not kept in check– over one hundred feet in fact! So be sure you have the space or the discipline to manage them responsibly, and be sure you are familiar with the rules surrounding the hedging law.

Lots! They are generally referred to as ‘broadleaf evergreens’. Some of the most popular are laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) with it’s rapid growth rate and lush dark green leaves, Prunus lusitanica, when a smaller leafed, denser texture is called for, and evergreen magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) with its glossy rich foliage and elegant waxy summer flowers. Photinia x fraserii ‘Red Robin’ is also a very popular choice, though do be aware it often suffers through the winter and can take some time in summer to bounce back. You can browse all our evergreen options in TreeFinder by ticking ‘evergreen’ on the ‘leaf persistence’ filter.

Any or all of the items below are very handy to for us to know before giving advice:

Images of your garden and proposed planting positions, even better if someone is in the photo for scale reference

Images of the proposed route of access from the road– for example, if you want the tree planted in the back garden, take a picture of where you would envisage our lorry parking, and then at various points along the access path around (or…gulp… through) the house, across any patio or steps, lawn etc. Better yet, why not video the access as you walk from the proposed parking position through to the planting position. You can send your video directly to our planting scheduler via What’s App

Accurate measurements of the narrowest access width across the path of accessas described above. We can’t emphasise accuracy enough as even a few centimeters can make all the difference. For example, if a drain pipe sticks out at some point along a side passage, that could preclude us from getting an important piece of machinery in, which would require a complete rethink of the logistics of the job.

Any ideas or photos of trees you’ve seen and like, or if you’ve created a favourites list on TreeFinder

Any plans or drawings you may have of the garden or plot to help us envisage the overall scale and layout. Context is very useful -remember we have never been there!

Often. We stand the best chance of identifying it if you take a close up picture of the leaf, any flower, the bark, and then stand back and take a picture of the entire tree. Lots of identifying clues then.

For screening up to 4/5 meters, that would probably be Ligustrum japonica, Prunus laurocerasus, or Prunus lusitanica.

I’m afraid not. It is vital that the soil level after the trees are planted is no higher (and preferably slightly lower) than the top of the rootball, where it joins the trunk/branches. Wet soil sitting against the bark at the base of the tree will rot the trunk. That process may occur quickly, but more often can take months, even years before the tree starts showing symptoms of failure, at which stage it is rarely possible to save the tree.

Good question. If the tree was healthy and just blew over in a storm or had to be removed due to outgrowing the space or root issues etc, then yes. If it was in poor health or died suddenly it may warrant investigating why first. If there is a pathogen in the soil it could infect the new tree. If you have any pictures of the tree that was removed, share them with your advisor. They may be able to recognise a disease. Alternatively, you can have the soil tested.

No, not if it is on your property. However, if you are replacing a tree that had a Tree Protection Order on it, you may need to comply with requirements at the size and variety of tree you replace it with.

According to this law, a person has the right to ask the council to intervene if the following conditions apply:

The objectionable hedge is comprised of 2 or more mostly evergreen or semi-evergreen trees or shrubs
The trees are over 2 metres tall

The trees are affecting one’s enjoyment of their home or garden because they are too tall The person being affected has already attempted to resolve the issue by speaking with the owner of the trees directly.

The third point above is quite important. One’s neighbours are far, far less likely to object if the screening trees do not block sunlight into their garden, or attractive views beyond.

The fastest options are Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus), Ligustrum japonica and Photinia ‘Red Robin’.

All non-conifer evergreens will technically flower, but for an ornamental display, these are some of the best: Magnolia grandiflora, Camellia, Osmanthus, Pyracantha, Cotoneaster, and Viburnum x burkwoodii. Even holly ‘Nellie Stevens’ gives a good show of flower followed by cheery red berries.

It’s quite easy actually! You can do it yourself with a trowel and a jar of water, but rather than explain all that here, we’d recommend you google ‘how to work out your soil type’ to access some quick demonstration videos.

It depends on the variety. Evergreen oaks, hollies and Portugese laurel (Prunus lusitanica) respond well to clipping, and hornbeam is amenable to being trained into all sorts of shapes. For most garden tree varieties, very regular light pruning will certainly slow down a growth rate, but this sort of maintenance pruning becomes much harder to manage once the tree grows beyond easy reach. And whilst tree surgeons can be brought in to take up the baton, over time the tree will end up with blunt ends on the branches which is unsitely in winter and gives an unnatural crown shape in summer.

Below are the main ones to avoid, as they are either deadly poisonous or known to cause digestive upset to horses. However, if you are planning to plant in a paddock or around livestock, be sure to mention that to an advisor so we can do extra checks before you make your final selection.

Potentially deadly:

  • Yew (taxus sp.)
Red Maple (Acer rubrum)

Toxic/known to cause significant digestive upset:

  • Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus)

  • Cherry trees and relatives (Prunus sp.)

  • Black Walnut (Juglans nigra)

  • Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)
Horse Chestnut, Buckeyes (Aesculus hippocastanum)

  • Oak trees, acorns(Quercus sp.)
Russian olive, also known as oleaster (Elaegnus angustifolia)

That really depends on the age of the children and level of supervision. There are a few highly toxic trees, such as Laburnum, Laurel and Yew (whose bright red berries are an absolute magnet for children), and then a long tail of mildly toxic species, which in most cases would pose a low threat because the likelihood of the child ingesting a significant amount of the plant is pretty minimal. Other trees may have thorns or irritant sap, but these are natural hazards to be taught, so this is really an age appropriate judgement call. If you are hoping to plant at a school, in a playground, or a family garden, please inform an advisor so they can advise you accordingly as you consider your options.

Weight of course. And increasing weight over time. And the added weight of the compost, remembering that this will be much heavier after watering. Also, how you will get it to the roof. A crane may provide that solution, which we can arrange. Also the increased exposure it will receive. It can get pretty windy at increasing heights, so be sure to choose varieties which can tolerate this. If it is a mature tree you are after, or a tree which will be a permanent feature in your roof garden, it is important to consult with a specialist.

Normally 2 to 3 times per year is adequate, at least once before the 1st of July, and again in late autumn to neaten it up for the winter. Don’t forget that it is important not to neglect a leylandii hedge, as leylandii does not rejuvenate easily (in some cases never) when cut back hard into the old wood.