Six On Saturday: Trees

Trees are on my mind at the moment.  The death of a fruit tree in the garden is providing the opportunity to plant something new.   Also I visited the Beth Chatto garden last week en route to Suffolk and made a point of following their tree trail.  So here are five trees that will be unsuitable for my garden but which looked so good in the autumn sun that I am going to share them.  All the notes come from the tree trail guide. The sixth is from my garden.



Eucalyptus dalrympleana or the Mountain gum.  A quick growing evergreen. The white bark, its winter colouring, was glowing in the sunshine.



Koeltreuteria paniculata or Golden rain tree, Pride of India. The name golden rain refers to the thousands of small yellow flowers that hang above the foliage in July and August, as though about to pour down like rain of the tree.  A sight that surely justifies a visit to the garden in summer.  This tree in its golden autumn colours was beautiful.



Araucaria araucana or Monkey puzzle, Chilean pine.  Native to Chile and Argentina and much beloved in British suburban gardens.  Which is surprising since they grow so big.  But our suburban street conforms and there is a good specimen not too far from me.   I have memories of these as a child, fascinated by its common name, it was one of the few trees I could easily identify.



Malus hupehensis, Chinese crab apple.  Laden with beautiful red cherry like fruits in autumn and with white apple like blossom in May.  The crab apple tree is often put forward as ideal for the small garden but at a size of 5m x 4m it seems too big for the space I want to fill.


Taxodium distichum Swamp cyprus.  In case you can’t read the label: from the mangrove swamps of the Everglades, Florida.  The knobbly knees on the left are the above ground growth of the trees roots.  I love this view of the garden.



After those magnificent specimens here is my dead tree.  I didn’t get to see any fruit but I think it was an Apricot tree.  The tree was in poor condition when we arrived and the small amount of blossom produced this spring was swiftly devoured by pigeons.  It finally succumbed to bacterial canker over the summer.  I wonder if I am being over ambitious in wanted to replace it with a small tree.  I have a rowan or a hawthorn on my wish list but the location in a narrow border by the path may not be ideal.  I’ll be cutting it down next week and will see what the view looks like without it.

I hope the beautiful colours of autumn are shining through in your gardens – of if you are in the southern hemisphere that spring delights are on their way.  For a good look at both seasons stop by The Propagator’s blog where links to other sixes are added throughout the day.

20 thoughts on “Six On Saturday: Trees

  1. I love eucalyptus … These are almost my favorite because of the bark and their wonderful scent … Nice overview of 5/6 trees in your SoS. I don’t know if it’s a good idea to plant another tree there, especially if the first one is dead because of bacterial canker. Rather a shrub and see


    • I did wonder about that. I cut down a small pear tree when we first moved in because it was badly diseased and I believe I read that it would transfer to hawthorns. There are a number of votes for trying out a shrub and some good ideas. It is so good to hear other people’s thoughts.

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  2. What a great selection of tree (with one exception of course 🙂 ) Another garden on my wish list, one day! You are quite right, what are often cited as trees for small gardens are not all that small. Different concepts of big and little I suppose. There is not a lot of space there for a shrub, how about a wall shrub of some sort? Lots of choice there!


  3. I’d love a nice big Eucalyptus but space …..! I’m looking at Eucalyptus gunnii x gunnii ‘France Bleu’ which, as the name suggests, has blue foliage and can be kept as a small bush with careful pruning. That may be a replacement for your apricot as you can try it small, then let it grow and, if you prefer it small, cut it back. Said to be suitable for container growing so shouldn’t be too much of a problem in a narrow border. Never stand under a Monkey Puzzle tree though. They can drop big branches without notice.


  4. A great selection of tree photos there. Sorry to hear about your Apricot tree. I spent ages trying to figure out what tree to get to replace the one I did in. Nick Bailey did a spot on Gardeners’ World about small trees the other week. I’d already ordered mine but I was tempted by the Rowan (‘Pink Perfection’ I think) which he said would only get to 3m tall and start off quite narrow initially before spreading out. The problem I found was that different websites suggest different heights for the same tree. I went for small (allegedly around 2m) but prunable. It’s tricky though. I almost considered a large shrub.


    • You are so right about different sites giving different heights. I saw he Nick Bailey piece and noted that one, I need something that is narrow. But maybe I should look at shrubs, I don’t have many in the garden and I am often envying next door for their great collection and the winter colour they get from them.

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  5. Beautiful trees! Beth Chatto’s garden is one of the few “famous” gardens that I’ve been to (albeit many years ago). “Small” trees seem to vary wildly. I planted Amelanchier lamarckii ‘Ballerina’ quite a while ago. The label said it was suitable for a small garden and was smaller than straight lamarckii. I beg to differ but with pruning manage to keep it to a size. Sorbus aucuparia ‘Autumn Spire’, however, is a perfect small tree (well so far anyway).


  6. Wonderful trees! That Eucalyptus tree is a particularly fine example: often they can be quite scrappy and oddly shaped, although that can be part of their charm too. A tree you could try in your spot is a crepe myrtle. They respond very well to pruning, so you can keep them to the size you want, and they don’t seem to be fussy about soil types.


  7. Someone mistook a bald cypress for a dawn redwood and planted it among a few picnic tables at work. The knees are becoming a problem now! They are rare trees here. I hate to cut it down. We would prefer to move the picnic tables.
    I grew three golden rain trees where I lived in town; two next door, and one in my front yard. They were complaisant with pavement.


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