Top 10 Screening Trees

Screening Trees

Trees are a great addition to almost any garden, creating structure and seasonal interest.  Gardens provide a sanctuary and respite from the busy world and using trees to screen out or hide an undesirable view, creates some valuable privacy. Here we list our top 10 trees that are suitable for screening in gardens.

Position such trees well and they will make an ideal focal point, that they can be enjoyed now and for future generations.

Screening trees often have a clear stem to reach up to fence panel height of around 1.8-2m with a full-bushy canopy above. This type of screening is particularly useful if you are overlooked by neighbouring properties, would like to draw the eye towards a specific feature, or would like to retain lower level exposure i.e. of an attractive wall or area.

We can also supply feathered trees that have full growth from the ground upwards and offer the same screening ability.

Generally, evergreens are preferred for this purpose and can be planted densely to achieve maximum effect from the offset. However, planting a selection of trees, if space allows, can provide rich contrast and seasonal interest.

We can supply a range of quality trees for decorative or screening, which are particularly useful to create privacy in your garden.

Top 10 Screening Trees

  1. Ilex aquifolium (English Holly)
  2. Magnolia grandiflora Gallisoniensis (Magnolia Bull bay)
  3. Prunus laurocerasus (Cherry Laurel)
  4. Quercus ilex (Holm Oak)
  5. Taxus baccata (English Yew)
  6. Thuja occidentalis Brabant (White Cedar)
  7. Thuja plicata (Western Red Cedar)
  8. Carpinus betulus (Hornbeam)
  9. Populus nigra Italica (Lombardy Poplar)
  10. Quercus robur Fastigiata Koster (Cypress Oak)

Ilex aquifolium (English Holly)

The English Holly is a classic native evergreen tree with spiky leaves on younger plants but the leaves of older trees are much more likely to be smooth. Ilex aquifolium has small white flowers in spring and later followed by bright red berries, which are palatable to birds and small mammals after the first frosts of the season. Slow-growing when young, Holly matures into an attractive, pyramidal shape.
Ideal Conditions: Like many evergreens, it prefers well-drained soils and will not thrive in soils which have a propensity for water holding.
Maximum Height:  height 12 metres+

Magnolia grandiflora Gallisoniensis (Bull bay)

This Magnolia is an evergreen that produces beautiful, large, white flowers in the summer, often up to 25 cm in diameter. As well as decorating this stunning tree, the blooms also create a sweet-citrus smelling aroma. It has large, ovoid leaves which are dark green and leathery on top, with a coppery, almost-furry underside. It has young shoots that are reddish, that change to a greyish brown at maturity. Due to its large leaves and bushy head at maturity, the Bull Bay makes for brilliant screening as well as an attractive feature.
Ideal Conditions: Grows well in most soils, must be sheltered and not north-facing.
Maximum Height: 15 metres

Prunus laurocerasus (Cherry Laurel)

Cherry Laurel is popularly used for screening due to its upright and bushy habit. It produces small, sweet-smelling, white flowers, which grow in vertical racemes, about 12 cm long, followed by small, cherry-like fruit. It is also available in pleached form, which is excellent for screening in smaller gardens.
Ideal Conditions: Plant in sun to shade, prefers moist slightly acidic cultivated soil.
Maximum Height: 5-8 metres

Quercus ilex (Holm Oak)

Holm, or Holly, Oak is a very popular evergreen tree that has leathery serrated holly-like leaves.
Quercus ilex regenerates very well after pruning, eventually creating a dense all year round screen. It is a majestic evergreen tree, being hardy and robust too; resistant to salt-spray from the sea, and from urban pollution.
Ideal Conditions: Grows well in most soils, coastal regions and urban environments.
Maximum Height: 25 metres

Taxus baccata (English Yew)

The English Yew is probably the classic evergreen tree, it is elegant and long-lived.
Leaves are small and dark green and whorl on the branch. Seeds grow individually in arils, which are red, fruit-like shells with an open end, giving added interest to these trees. Taxus baccata rejuvenates itself remarkably well if pruned in the early spring.
Ideal Conditions: Thrives best on free draining lighter soil.
Maximum Height: up to 12 metres

Thuja occidentalis Brabant (White Cedar)

The White Cedar is an attractive, evergreen conifer that has a compact, conical habit with slightly drooped branches. It has a reddish-brown bark that peels off in thin strips. Due to its dense habit, this tree is ideal for privacy screening. The RHS has given this tree an Award of Merit.
Ideal Conditions: It is a highly tolerant tree and can grow in most conditions.
Maximum Height: 20 metres

Thuja plicata (Western Red Cedar)

Western Red Cedar is an impressive evergreen conifer, with densely branched, making it a great tree for screening. Its glossy dark-green scales very aromatic. Thuja is usually frost-hardy and tolerant of urban pollution.
Ideal Conditions: Plant in sun to light shade in all types of well-drained soils
Maximum Height: 20-25 metres

Carpinus betulus (Hornbeam)

Hornbeam is a popular deciduous tree, ideal for screening, whether in pleached or as a natural fastigate/column, due to its ability to regenerate after pruning. It has a very vertical trunk with smooth dark-grey bark and the leaves are a fresh green colour in spring and turn golden yellow in the autumn.
Ideal Conditions: Carpinus betulus is hardy and can be planted in sun or shade and in all soil types.
Maximum Height: 20 metres plus

Populus nigra Italica (Lombardy Poplar)

The Lombardy Poplar is a narrowly columnar deciduous tree and makes a good specimen for screening and as a riverbank tree. A fine architectural columnar tree, it features crimson male catkins before the bright green ovate leaves open in early spring.
Ideal Conditions: It thrives on most soils including those prone to lying wet in winter.
Maximum Height: up to 30 metres

Quercus robur Fastigiata Koster (Cypress Oak)

Cypress Oak is a fiercely upright variety of oak, forming a tightly regular and narrow crown, making it perfect for restricted spaces. This pretty tree has a deeply lobed, glossy green leaf, characteristic of the Oak; the foliage turns golden brown in the autumn and will remain on the tree throughout the winter period in less exposed conditions
Ideal Conditions: It will tolerate most soils, but is particularly tolerant of heavy clay.
Maximum Height: 15 metres

 

Platanus Acerifolia
Top 10 Street Trees

Trees for Urban Areas

Trees can enhance all environments, even urban ones with a wide range of environmental, social and economic benefits; street trees in urban parks have been found to improve physical and mental health, improve aesthetics and environmental quality, which can lead to increased investment and the local economy.

We have prepared a list the top 10 trees that are suitable for urban planting, originally featured in magazine FutureArch:

  1. Ailanthus altissima (Tree of Heaven)
  2. Ginkgo biloba (Maidenhair Tree)
  3. Koelreuteria paniculata (Golden Rain Trees)
  4. Liquidambar styraciflua (American Sweet Gum)
  5. Nyssa sylvatica (Sour Gum)
  6. Platanus× acerifolia  (Plane Trees)
  7. Pyrus calleryana Chanticleer (Callery Pear)
  8. Sorbus torminalis (Wild Service Trees)
  9. Tilia cordata (Small-leaved Lime)
  10. Ulmus hollandica Lobel (Lobel Elm)

See Forestry Commission article for more details on street tree planting programmes.

Top 10 Street Trees

 

Ailanthus altissima (Tree of Heaven)

Distinctive features: This is a tall, tough tree that is able to withstand inhospitable urban environments, making it a possible contender for a street tree, where space allows. It has pale grey bark, light brown twigs and large pinnately compound leaves.

Average height/ crown size: 20m+ very large, broadly columnar tree

Maintenance/Planting tips: 20-50years to maturity; thrives in all soils

Ginkgo biloba (Maidenhair Tree)

Distinctive features: The leaves are fan shaped, appearing bright green in spring and then bright yellow in the autumn. Tough enough to cope with air pollution, reflected heat and light, Ginkgo biloba is a great contender as a street tree.

Average height/ crown size: 20m+ forms a large specimen with a conical shape at maturity

Maintenance/Planting tips: 20-50years to maturity; will tolerate most soil types

Koelreuteria paniculata (Golden Rain Trees) 

Distinctive features: Koelreuteria paniculata’s profuse small yellow flowers develop in late spring and these form lantern-shaped fruits that turn red in the autumn when its green leaves turn a rich yellow.

Average height/ crown size: 7-12m forms a rounded crown

Maintenance/Planting tips: 20-50 years to maturity; thrives best on free draining soils with a sunny aspect.

Liquidambar styraciflua (American Sweet Gum)

Distinctive features: Liquidambar styraciflua or American Sweet Gum is a large, undemanding tree, which is pollution resistant. It’s large star-shaped leaves emerge bright green in the spring then changing to fabulous red, purple and gold colours throughout the autumn; Liquidambar is one of the very best trees for autumn colour and one of the last deciduous trees to drop its leaves.

Average height/ crown size: 20m+ matures to a rounded crown

Maintenance/Planting tips: more than 50 years to maturity; Best in fertile, well-drained soil, not suitable for lime or chalky soils

Nyssa sylvatica (Sour Gum)

Distinctive features: The Tupelo or sour gum is a wonderful tree for autumn foliage with its green summer leaves turning yellow, orange and even red into late autumn

Average height/ crown size: 12-17m Pyramidal in habit when young, it can develop into a large broad tree at maturity

Maintenance/Planting tips: 20-50 years to maturity; requires free draining acid soil

Platanus × acerifolia  (Plane Trees)

Distinctive features: The London Plane is the classic street tree, due to its high tolerance of pollution; It is also known as Platanus × hispanica. This large tree features multi-coloured, flaking bark, which includes patches of white, green, grey and brown. It’s large shiny, dark green leaves, transform into a copper colour in autumn before falling

Average height/ crown size: 20-30m forms a broadly pyramidal shaped crown at maturity

Maintenance/Planting tips: 20-50 years to maturity; tolerant to all soils but thrives

Pyrus calleryana Chanticleer (Callery Pear) 

Distinctive features: A medium height tree, the glossy lush green leaves emerge in March and last through to November, when they change to a reddish-purple before falling. It’s a very hardy tree, resistant to frost, heat, wind and pollution

Average height/ crown size: 15m side branches stretching upwards creating a narrow, conical shape

Maintenance/Planting tips: 20-50 years to maturity; Prefers to be in full sun, adapts well to most soils

Sorbus torminalis (Wild Service Trees)

Distinctive features: This has white flowers in spring give way to sharp tasting fruits in the autumn whilst its bark resembles a chequer pattern as it matures. Its green summer leaves turn orange and yellow in the autumn

Average height/ crown size: 10-15m a columnar habit when young and graduates to a broad oval when mature.

Maintenance/Planting tips: 20-50 years to maturity; thrives in most free draining soils, not in full sun, it is tolerant of atmospheric pollution and dry conditions.

Tilia cordata (Small-leaved Lime)

Distinctive features: This native tree produces fragrant white flowers in mid-summer and is a good tree for attracting bees and the yellow leaf colour in autumn is attractive. An excellent choice for avenues and parks.

Average height/ crown size: 20–30m a broad oval crown

Maintenance/Planting tips: 20-50 years to maturity; It tolerates heat, is frost hardy and wind resistant, but is sensitive to salt. This tree is happy on most soils

Ulmus hollandica Lobel (Lobel Elm)

Distinctive features: The fairly small rough leaves are dull dark green with dense veins and a double-serrated edge. They are bronze coloured when they emerge, remaining on the tree for a long time, often until late November. It is very resistant to sea wind, making it suitable for use in coastal areas.

Average height/ crown size: 20-30m  pyramidal tree with a dense crown

Maintenance/Planting tips: 20-50 years to maturity; It favours moist and light soils.

Prunus avium plena blossom
Top 10 Trees for Small Gardens

Trees for small gardens

Trees will enhance even the smallest of gardens and we have listed the top 10 trees that are suitable for small gardens.  Position such trees well and they will make an ideal focal point, or use them to screen out unwanted views; trees create structure and seasonal interest to any garden and landscape. A pleasure of planting semi-mature trees is that they can be enjoyed now and for succeeding generations.

When choosing trees for a small garden, it is worth considering just how much space you have and which seasons best suit your planting scheme. Trees can bring all sorts of focus to your garden whether it’s through their flowers, foliage, fruit or bark; creating colour and attention all year round whether through welcome shade, as  a wildlife magnet and even tasty harvests, if you are planting fruit trees.

Don’t let a small garden stop you from enjoying all the benefits of trees. We have many spectacular specimen trees for sale that will grace your garden, in all shapes and sizes, evergreen and deciduous. It is important that any trees chosen are right for their surroundings, in terms of proportion as well as for their decorative value.

Here is a selection of the top 10 trees for smaller garden, also consider the space you have available. Trees with a weeping form rarely increase much in height; similarly a columnar tree, will not spread too much further.  If you only have room for one tree, look for one with more than one season of interest such as fruit or autumn colour following on from spring flowers.

Top 10 Trees for smaller gardens

  1. Acer palmatum Japanese maples
  2. Amelanchier (Snowy mespilus)
  3. Arbutus unedo (Strawberry tree)
  4. Betula utilis jacquemontii (Himalayan birch)
  5. Catalpa bignonioides Nana (Dwarf Indian bean tree)
  6. Cercis siliquastrum (Judas tree)
  7. Eriobotrya japonica (Loquat)
  8. Magnolias
  9. Malus / Flowering Crab Apples
  10. Prunus serrulata / Flowering Cherry
Trees specimen and semi mature
Top Quality Containerised Trees

Top Quality Containerised Trees

Available for Planting Now


Comprehensive Range

Practicality Brown’s tree nursery specialises in large trees, both evergreen and deciduous. With a combination of home grown and outsourced specimen and semi mature trees, we offer a broad range which includes many native UK species; trees that are suitable all occasions.

Containerised Trees

We have an excellent selection of beautiful trees that are available in containers and are ready to plant now, ahead of the traditional root ball season. These trees are in girth sizes 20cm to 65cm, up to 8m high.

All our acclimatised containerised stock has been carefully tended to at our nursery to ensure it is ready for delivery in perfect condition. We continually monitor conditions to ensure that trees are in the peak condition for planting, paying close attention to bio security and plant health management.

See our stock list for the trees we currently have in stock at our nursery; all are available for delivery now.

From delicate Acers (Maples), fully feathered Magnolia grandiflora to pleached Quercus palustris (Pin Oaks) and classic English Yew, there is something on the list for everyone.

Magnolia grandiflora fully feathered

Magnolia grandiflora

Image of a Yew Taxus baccata 1.5m element

Yew Taxus baccata 1.5m elements

Quercus palustris Specimen tree

Pleached Pin Oak

The trees detailed on this list are those we currently have in stock at our nursery; the heights and girths reflect actual sizes of these individual trees. The availability can daily, so please call to confirm availability of particular stock.  All prices shown are ex vat and exclude delivery, please use our enquiry form to request a detailed quotation.

 

A 30% discount will be applied to ex vat orders of trees worth a total of £2500 or more.

The discount applies to the tree stock value of the order only, not to delivery and planting etc.

Prices correct as at August 2017. E&OE.

 

We would be delighted to see you at our nursery in Iver, Buckinghamshire; please make an appointment to ensure one of our team are available to show you around.  We are located near to M4, M25 and M40 junctions, about 6 miles from Heathrow Airport and 15 miles from London and just 1 mile from Iver Station, with trains from London Paddington.

We look forward to welcoming you onto our nursery soon.

Root-balled Trees and Transplanting

Bare root trees

Autumn heralds wonderful colours and falling leaves but for growers the cooler soils signify the ideal time to start transplanting trees and shrubs. Specimen trees, typically too large for containers, are systematically transplanted by skilled growers and root-balled with a compact root system, which enables trees to be re-located without stress or shock. This process continues into the winter when the trees are fully dormant making it perfect to transplant them.

Practicality Brown’s preferred growers throughout UK and Europe are now preparing and shipping  those trees selected and reserved during the summer, either to our nursery in Iver or direct to site to satisfy clients requirements.

These trees have their root system carefully enclosed and held in place with wire-wrapped hessian, which ensures the soil remains in contact with the roots throughout lifting, transportation and planting operations. Our root-ball trees have been prepared by being ‘undercut’ i.e. root pruned or transplanted several times (every 3 years for Deciduous and 4 years for Evergreen) to encourage the development of a fibrous root system.

The root ball season is now open; please call us to discuss your requirements. We can advise on preparation, planting and aftercare too.

RHS Hampton Court Flower Show Results

The RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2016 has showcased more stunning garden designs this year, made all the more challenging to create due to the unseasonal weather. Practicality Brown are proud to have contributed to the following medal-winning gardens, for which we provided Elveden Instant Hedge, Elements and hedging plants.

 

Gold Medals

• Show Gardens:

A Dog’s Life Garden designed by Paul Hervey-Brookes for The Dogs Trust

World Vision Garden designed by John Warland (Senseless Acts of Beauty)

• Summer Gardens:

A Summer Retreat designed by Laura Arison and Amanda Waring for CCLA

The Lavender Garden designed by Paula Napper, Sarah Warren and Donna King

 

Silver-Gilt Medal

• Show Garden: PMS: Outside Inside Garden for NAPS designed by Emma Bannister

• Summer Garden: A breath of Fresh Air designed by Rae Wilkinson for The Abbeyfield Society

 

Bronze Medal

• Show Garden: Cancer Research UK’s Life Garden designed by Antonia Young Built by Jeff Rosenblatt

Moving trees for Microsoft

Practicality Brown moved and transplanted three semi-mature Pyrus Chanticleer (Callery Pear) trees at the Microsoft Campus in Reading, West Berkshire.

The trees formed part of the soft landscaping at the prestigious Reading campus, but had grown too large at their location, restricting potential building and extension plans.  Instead of simply cutting down and removing the trees altogether, PBL advised Microsoft that the trees could be transplanted to a new location within the grounds, using a specialised tree spade machine.  This enables the trees to be saved continued to be enjoyed by campus users and a greener environment for everyone.

Each tree was moved individually, in one action, using the tree spades to carefully lift the tree and roots out of its location and move it to a prepared hole of the same size and shape.  Great care and planning were employed with the machine working so close to the building and to safe guard the ground in the new planting area.

Project to transplant important trees

Practicality Brown Ltd transplanted 29 Commemorative trees at a care home in Ascot to make way for a new building.  All the trees were in the 20-50cm girth size and were carefully pruned ready for transplanting into a woodland walk on the same site, which we undertook with our tree spade machine, enriching the environment for the residents.

Oak Tree Planted for Diamond Jubilee Celebration

With a reputation for sourcing specimen trees, we were asked to supply and plant an Oak tree in Datchet to commemorate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Celebration. We supplied a Quercus Robur (English Oak) which was 30 cm girth with a spread of about 3 metres and around 7 metres high. This village event started in the Church with a service of thanks-giving Read more

Trees craned into small gardens in London

Practicality Brown was asked to plant two large trees into small residential gardens on a new boundary of a University in Camden Town, London.  The residents had their existing trees removed during the demolition of the old boundary wall to make way for the erection of a new one. Each replacement tree had to be carefully craned from over the building from street side to the small Read more