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Monthly Archives: April 2013

  • Screening with Deciduous Trees

    pyrus calleryana chanticleer

    When customers come in seeking a screening solution for their garden, it’s quite common to see a lot of interest in evergreen plants. Screening is usually sought to remove lines of sight towards certain eyesores, keep others from looking in to your garden or simply creating a strongly structured environment, and evergreens provide this throughout the year.

    Yet deciduous trees can create excellent screening possibilities, and carry their own set of benefits well worth considering. Winter can be a dull season with limited light in the garden. When deciduous trees lost their leaves they still offer filtered screening while minimising this loss of light during the winter months. Where tall screening is required this can be an important consideration.

    There are also aesthetic gains to be had by investing in deciduous screening, creating a more natural feeling environment. Many native trees are deciduous, offering ornamental features of flower, autumn colour and berries in addition to summer screening.

    Providing a varied, seasonal appearance can enhance the impact of your screening substantially, so you should certainly explore our sizeable range of common trees for possibilities. Many deciduous trees would make for excellent screening, Pyrus Chanticleer retains its leaves well into autumn, while Hawthorns provide a particularly dense branch structure even when the leaves are off the tree.

    If you’re interested in acquiring deciduous screening for your garden don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or queries. We want to see you satisfied with your garden and will be more than happy to help.

  • Plants for Spring Interest – Pyrus calleryana Chanticleer

    Pyrus chanticleer

    Pyrus calleryana Chanticleer is certainly an interesting specimen. Not only does it feature exceptional spring interest, but the tree remains both functional and noteworthy throughout the year. It’s certainly worth your attention, so do take a look through our collection of common trees and see if this species is for you.

    Pyrus Chanticleer is narrow to start with, broadening out to a conical shape. It possesses an ultimate height of 8-12m, but is prunable. During April it is covered in small, creamy-white flowers arriving before the leaves come out, making a stunning sight.

    The tree is deciduous, but remains useful well into the autumn months. The glossy green foliage will often last as long as late November, making it an excellent choice for garden screening compared to other deciduous species. You’ll even enjoy the autumn colour, ranging from deep yellows and orange to a startling scarlet in full sun.

    Pyrus calleryana Chanticleer is extremely hardy. It prefers moist, neutral to alkaline soils, and will even tolerate poor, dry soils. If you’re seeking a street tree it’s worth considering, being tolerant of atmospheric pollution and heavy winds. The latter even makes it appropriate for coastal planting!

    We’re highly recommending the plant, and hope you’re interested enough to take a look. It’s priced between £38.40 and £252.00 including VAT with sizes ranging from 175cm to 450cm, and we’re certain you won’t be disappointed with its appearance and functionality. If you have any questions and queries however, never hesitate to contact us and we’ll see how we can help.

  • Screening Trees - Evergreen & Semi-Evergreen

    evergreen and semi-evergreen trees

    When investing in screening it’s important to find species which will meet your needs most effectively. You may be looking to introduce more structure to the garden, in terms of pathways and focal points, or could be hiding an eyesore from view, or obstructing views into your garden from the street.

    One of the most common requests we get is for advice on non-conifer evergreen screening. Evergreen and semi-evergreen screening is highly effective at providing screening above a fence line all year round without the visual distinctiveness of conifers. There are plenty of options available to you, so it’s worth examining them.

    For screening above a fence line trees will often feature a stem of 1.8 metres, with a distinct crown above. Photinia Red Robin and the Portuguese Laurel are ideal for this purpose. For a hardy evergreen tree, we often recommend customers to consider Holly, such as Ilex ‘Nellie Stevens’, providing glossy leaves and bright red berries, perfect for autumnal interest.

    Semi-evergreens represent an aesthetic compromise, shedding some of their leaves during the winter months though never becoming entirely bare. Ligustrum japonicum (Japanese privet) and Cotoneaster cornubia both come highly recommended, standing at 5-6m tall and featuring cream and white flowers in spring, respectively. The latter grows particularly quickly in an arched form, with autumn berries adding welcome variety throughout the year. Both of these options are useful screening where planting space is restricted.

    This collection by no means represents the full complement of our evergreen trees for hedging and screening, so feel free to browse our supply and see what appeals to you. As ever, if you have any questions or queries then don’t hesitate to contact us, and we’ll be happy to help.

  • Plants for Spring Interest – Prunus avium ‘Plena’

    Prunus _avium_Plena

    As far as spring flowerers go, this specimen is certainly one of the most aesthetically striking. Visually, Prunus avium ‘Plena’ creates an absolutely stunning display. You can expect it to reach full bloom in late April and early May, and will be able to enjoy views of the dense, clustered and startlingly white flowers, springing up along the symmetrically branched crown. It’s incredibly eye catching, and co-ordinates well with the brighter greens of spring. It’s also worth noting the calming orangey autumn foliage, so you don’t need to see it as an investment purely for springtime.

    This species is a cultivated variety of the wild cherry, mainly characterised by a reduced ultimate height. Whereas the wild cherry can be expected to reach an ultimate height and spread of 15-20m, Prunus avium ‘Plena’ will instead stand at a more manageable 8-12m. If you’ve got the room, you won’t be disappointed planting it in the centre of your lawn as the garden’s centrepiece, though it’s equally stunning when planted as an avenue.

    It’s fully hardy and low-maintenance, making it an excellent option for experts and beginners alike seeking additional spring colour. Once planted in moderately fertile, free-draining soil with access to full sun you shouldn’t have to work on it.

    You can purchase this specimen on our site for as little as £32.00 for a small standard tree standing at two metres, or £375.00 for one as large as five. Prunus avium ‘Plena’ is a simply fantastic specimen to consider for your spring garden, with extravagant and long-lasting flowers.

  • Plants for Spring Interest – Prunus Pink Perfection

    common trees

    There are plenty of plants available to you when seeking spring interest, and quite often the more striking they appear the better. Prunus Pink Perfection is an old favourite around the nursery, exhibiting incredible spring colour as well as pleasant autumn foliage, and comes highly recommended by the English Woodlands team.

    It’s a small tree, with ascending branches twisting their way up to an ultimate height of only 5-10 metres. Pink Perfection’s highlight comes during April and May, when the limbs become covered in pendent, double pink flowers. These hanging clusters create a booming explosion of colour within any garden, and make for an excellent centrepiece alongside more complementary species. Prunus Pink Perfection is deciduous, so you’ll also enjoy gentle orange-red foliage in autumn, contrasting to the young bronze foliage displayed during spring.

    Another fully hardy specimen, you shouldn’t need to invest much time on maintenance as long the tree is enjoying moist, yet well-drained soil with access to full sun.
    We’re pleased to be offering Prunus Pink Perfection, and you can find it at different sizes on our website. A 1.75-2.00m small standard tree costs £38.40 including VAT, or you can obtain a more mature, 3-4m tree for £150.

    This specimen is right up there with the best of our common trees, so feel free to take a look today, and see whether this extensive flowerer is right for you. And remember, don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions and queries you may have, we always have someone on hand who would be happy to help out.

  • Spring Flowering Shrubs – Magnolias

    common shrubsSpring is an excellent time to begin creating a little more colour in your garden. There are several spring flowering shrubs to choose from, but an iconic one is the Magnolia. Flowering before the leaves appear they are a real feature plant.

    We’re going to take a look at two separate plants today from the Magnolia genus. These are Magnolia soulangeana (Saucer Magnolia or Tulip tree), and Magnolia stellata (Star Magnolia).

    With a fairly compact form, Magnolia stellata features pure white, star-shaped flowers. They make an attractive shrub as focal point, or as part of a mixed border. It is easily one of the best Magnolias for a small garden. The flowers appear towards the start of the season, making stellata into an excellent choice for early spring interest.

    Magnolia soulangeana produced numerous, goblet-shaped flowers in pale to deep pink. With an ultimate height of 4-6 metres, this forms a large shrub or small spreading tree and a colourful centrepiece in your garden.

    Both species mentioned here are fully hardy, some extra protection may be required from late winter frosts. Neither requires extensive maintenance, and will be able to survive in almost any soil type, so long as you achieve a good level of drainage.

    Naturally, both are in season, and it’s an excellent time to invest for a little more spring interest around the home. You can pick them up from £72.00 to £96.00, among our collection of common shrubs.

    As ever, feel free to contact us with any questions or queries you might have, and we’ll have a team member on hand who’s more than happy to help.

  • Screening Trees – Conifers for Hedging

    hedging conifers

    Screening is one of the most common and impactful ways to structure a garden, providing shade and wind shielding, obstructing views from outside the garden or creating privacy from the outside.

    There are plenty of appropriate species to screen with, and we’ve discussed the benefits of evergreen and deciduous varieties before. Here, we’ll be looking at a few options from our conifers for hedging range, excellent choices for anyone seeking large and hardy screening solutions.

    An increasingly popular species is Cupressocyparis Leylandii, the ‘Green Leyland Cypress’. It’s extremely fast growing in the realm of 120cm per year, and can reach an ultimate height of 35m. With regular (though not drastic) pruning this Cypress can create extremely dense and attractive hedging at great heights.

    Thuja plicata, or the ‘Western Red Cedar’ is a particularly effective evergreen for screening. It’s slower growing than Leyland Cypress, but not slow growing and will quickly form a dense hedge. As a specimen tree it will reach an ultimate height of 15m, and spread of 3-5m. Foliage begins low to the ground, and grows dense enough to completely screen any feature. Grown as a hedge it will prune well. Thuja will even tolerate cutting back hard when mature and will regrow, unlike other conifer hedges.

    Other varieties of conifer for hedging include Yew, particularly in well drained and chalky soils. If you’re interested in evergreen screening and have any questions or queries about possible options, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll be more than happy to help.

  • Feeding and Mulching in Spring

    As spring steadily warms up, your newly planted trees and shrubs will be leaving dormancy, and beginning to grow when conditions are right. While they’re first establishing themselves it’s especially important to keep them healthy and strong, so there is absolutely no better time to begin feeding and mulching your newly planted trees and shrubs.

    Feeding and mulching are necessary to add nutrients and improve soil structure. As soil and air temperatures get warmer and daylight hours increase plants will start to display root and shoot growth. Important nutrients for the plant include nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium as well as trace elements. The moisture available as well as the soil structure and acidity influences how these elements can be taken up by plants.  In spring, when plants start to grow, feeding with fertiliser ensures these nutrients are available.  Nitrogen is particularly important and is sometimes deficient in the spring, as rain can leach it from the soil over winter.

    Garden compost and well-rotted stable manure can supply some nutrients but these are more important for improving soil structure, so a prepared fertiliser such as Growmore is recommended as a spring feed for trees and shrubs. This can be applied as a top dressing – scattered on the soil.

    Organic mulches such as compost, well-rotted manure and leaf mould help structure by forming soil into crumbs and increasing spaces for air and water between them this improves drainage in wet soils, water retention in dry soils and makes nutrients more available to plants. You can dig an organic mulch into the first six inches of soil, or simply lay it on the ground and let the worms do the work!

    Your plants need the help while establishing themselves, so whatever solution you choose, be sure they’re well supported throughout the spring period. As ever, feel free to contact us with any questions or queries you might have.

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