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:
- Ailanthus altissima (Tree of Heaven)
- Ginkgo biloba (Maidenhair Tree)
- Koelreuteria paniculata (Golden Rain Trees)
- Liquidambar styraciflua (American Sweet Gum)
- Nyssa sylvatica (Sour Gum)
- Platanus× acerifolia (Plane Trees)
- Pyrus calleryana Chanticleer (Callery Pear)
- Sorbus torminalis (Wild Service Trees)
- Tilia cordata (Small-leaved Lime)
- Ulmus hollandica Lobel (Lobel Elm)
See Forestry Commission article for more details on street tree planting programmes.
Top 10 Street Trees
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
Top Quality Containerised Trees
Available for Planting Now
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Practicality Brown have a full page editorial feature in the January 2017 edition of industry publication, Pro Landscaper in their Nursery Factfile section.
Our top five bestselling plants
- Prunus laurocerasus Novita semi mature trees
- Carpinus betulus pleached tree (great for screening)
- Betula jacquemontii semi mature trees
- Practicality Brown Instant Native Hedge
- Elveden Instant Hedge Green Beech
Pro Landscaper also sourced some testimonials from top Garden designers to accompany the feature with thanks to
We used an instant hedge from Practicality Brown for our RHS Hampton Court garden this year. I had struggled to find what I was looking for with other suppliers and Practicality Brown was extremely helpful and accommodating. It found what I wanted and sent me photos prior to delivery as I was not able to visit to hand pick them. I have specified its hedging on other projects which has always been good quality.
I have loved working with Practicality Brown over the years because I know it offers sturdy field grown stock, including the lovely mixed native hedging that I recently ordered for RHS Chelsea. The other great thing about ordering is the service, which is always friendly and helpful. Its cliché but really nothing is too much trouble.
I have had the pleasure of working with Practicality Brown on major projects and show gardens over the years. It has helped enormously in our attaining of three Gold medals at RHS shows including Chelsea and Hampton Court, which is a testament to its staff, products and company
and Lisa Cox
I worked with Practicality Brown on a domestic project where we needed to screen off a house. We wanted a solution that would do the job from day one and chose Elveden beech instant hedging. This was more subtle than a wall or fence and looked amazing from day one – you wouldn’t have known it had just been planted
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