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Which species of tree to plant?
October 7, 2014

We carry out many mortgage and insurance surveys throughout Cheshire and Merseyside and survey problem trees that are have either grown too big and could impact on the foundations of the house or trees that are oversized and could be hazardous in strong winds.

Evidently this is a problem area. A question we get asked many times by homeowners is ‘What would be a suitable tree to plant in my garden? Unless you have a large garden and have space to plant a tree such as Beech, Oak or Elm at least 20m away from the house these trees are not suitable for planting in a normal small to medium sized garden. Below are a few examples of suitable trees for most gardens.

  1. Sorbus – there are many types of Sorbus and most are suitable for small gardens due to their small height at maturity. Examples of Sorbus that are not only visually attractive to the homeowner but also attractive to wildlife are: Sorbus vilmorinii, Joseph Rock and Miniature Whitebeam.
  2. There are many ornamental Maple trees that do not grow too big and have beautiful colouring in Autumn e.g Acer palamtum and Acer griseum (Paper Bark Maple)
  3. Fruit trees such as Flowering Crab Apple Malus sargentii, Malus evereste are a lovely addition to any garden and will encourage more visits from garden birds especially in the Autumn when the fruits are ripe.

There are other trees to avoid that look appealing yet can also be troublesome. Lately we surveyed a Eucalyptus tree that had been planted 4m away from a house. The tree was probably only 20 years old but was already 10m high and the roots had lifted brick structures within the garden, a boundary wall and a paved area. The roots were mapped across the lawn sucking out all the moisture. It was only a matter of time before it started affecting the structure of the house. Other trees that may be problematic for different reasons are Laburnum trees which are aesthetically pleasing but dangerous for pets and children. All parts of the tree are poisonous especially the black seeds in the pods which contain alkaloid poison.
Please email us for any advice, we do not charge for our knowledge!


image copyright John Ramspott on flickr CC licence