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Hornbeam pleached trees
Best Pleached Trees (Our Top 5 trees we recommend)

Pleached Trees

If your garden needs effective screening or simply to improve privacy without reducing the living space then a pleached tree may well be the answer.

Please see our top five suggestions below, which make attractive Pleached Trees.

  • Prunus laurocerasus (Cherry Laurel)
  • Photinia fraseri Red Robin
  • Carpinus betulus (Hornbeam)
  • Fagus sylvatica (Beech)
  • Tilia platyphyllos (Broad-leaved Lime)

Trees have been trained into formal architectural shapes for many centuries, and the use of pleached trees to in the garden is one of the defining aspects of 17th and 18th-century design; particularly in France and Italy where they were traditionally used to demarcate grand allées or to create privacy.

Sometimes known as “hedges on stilts” pleached trees are shaped by using a square frame; tying-in and interlacing flexible young shoots along a supporting framework, creating a narrow, slim canopy. Espalier trees is the term used for pleached fruit trees, designed so that sun can shine on the fruit, making it easier to harvest.

We can supply these trees across many species, both as evergreen and deciduous. They are available with clear stems between 1.5m to 2m high and on square frames of 1.5m x 1.5m or 1.8m x 1.8m.

 

  1. Prunus laurocerasus (Cherry Laurel)

This is a popular tree, with an upright and bushy habit which is perfect year-round screening in its pleached form.  Its large leaves are elliptical, shiny and bright green and have small, sweet-smelling, white flowers, which grow in vertical racemes, followed by small, cherry-like fruit.

 

  1. Photinia fraseri Red Robin

Photinia fraseri Red Robin is a versatile evergreen, and it’s stand out feature is the vibrant red new shoots in spring, which contrast with the white blossom – unusual in an evergreen.  The bright new leaves change to a deep, glossy green as they mature. The RHS has given this tree an Award of Merit.

 

  1. Carpinus betulus (Hornbeam)

Carpinus betulus is a British native deciduous tree which is popular for as a pleached tree, due to it’s ability to regenerate after pruning and its seasonal variation. The leaves are a fresh green colour in spring and turn golden yellow in the autumn.  Hornbeam is hardy and can be planted in sun or shade and in all soil types.

 

  1. Fagus sylvatica (Beech)

Fagus sylvatica is a popular native deciduous tree which is ideal for pleaching due to retaining its leaves throughout the winter months. The leaves emerge fresh green, turning a splendid yellow-orange in the autumn. Beech prefers nutritious, well drained soils, and can be planted in sun or shade.

 

  1. Tilia platyphyllos (Broad-leaved Lime)

Tilia platyphyllos is a fast growing lime tree which has luscious heart-shaped foliage which gives the tree a healthy appearance all year round; the leaves turn a lime yellow autumn. This tough tree responds well to regular pruning. It will tolerate most soil types, including clay soils

 

Contact to us about your requirements for screening or privacy in your garden; we can supply and plant many types of attractive trees in both evergreen and deciduous species.

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

 

Cherry laurel is a great screening tree
Creating Privacy with Screening Trees

Screening Trees

Prunus laurocerasus Novita`

Privacy in your garden can be created using trees to hide or screen out an undesirable view; they can also be used to draw the eye to a specific feature.

Trees grown for this purpose often have a clear stem i.e. no leaves on the lower trunk; they reach up to fence panel height of around 1.8-2m with a full bushy canopy above, forming a good screen above the fence line. This type of screening is particularly useful if you are overlooked by neighbouring properties or would like to retain lower level exposure to an attractive wall or area.  Screening trees can be designed to create a focus point, perhaps to make the most of a feature.

 

Type of Privacy

It is a good idea to consider what you are aiming to screen out. For example are you directly overlooked by a neighbouring property, or would you like to filter out a large building or structure? Also consider the angle you are viewing from, as this may help choosing the right tree for your needs.

Practicality Brown’s semi-mature trees can be planted to achieve effective screening from the offset with evergreens being preferred for this purpose as they screen throughout the year.  However, a planting scheme that includes deciduous trees can provide rich contrast and seasonal interest.

 

Cherry Laurel

Prunus laurocerasus Novita close up

Prunus laurocerasus Novita, a dense evergreen tree, is popularly used for screening due to its upright and bushy habit and its

resilience to cold weather. In April small, fragrant, white flowers grow in vertical racemes about 12cm long which are followed by small glossy, black fruit.

We have semi-mature containerised Prunus laurocerasus Novita with a 1.8m clear-stem, available now.

The Cherry Laurel grows well in most soil and conditions, preferring moist slightly acidic soil.  Pruning in late spring to helps to retain its shape and encourages new growth.  If planting in a row, the optimum distance for the clear stem is with 1.2-1.5m spacing.

Trees from Practicality Brown

We can supply a range of top quality trees for decorative or screening, which are particularly useful to create privacy in your garden.   These include feathered trees that have full growth from the ground upwards and offer the same screening ability.  A mix planting of evergreen and deciduous trees, if space allows, can be an attractive solution.

We also have a range of pleached trees which can be used in the same way; pleached trees can be effective for a formal screen and where space is limited.

A High Hedge is a perfect privacy screen

Practicality Brown Ltd supplied and planted a high hedge to screen a swimming pool area in a private garden. We used Thuja Occidentalis ‘Brabant’ or more commonly, White Cedar, for this project. The individual hedging plants were 4.5m high and allowed the area to be enclosed for total privacy.