Choosing a Tree for Your Garden
Trees are an important part of every garden or landscape. Because there is often only room for a limited number of trees, it is especially important to choose the right one. In this article we’ll be discussing tree form, and how it directs our attention in the garden, and the mood it creates.
Some forms are very active, directing your eye quickly and strongly. These should be used carefully and sparingly. They create a vibrant and exciting mood, but can be overwhelming.
An irregular form is very dynamic, and draws the eye in many different directions. This unpredictability is interesting and exciting, but can be chaotic if overused. An example of an irregular form is a Corkscrew Hazel.
Swedish aspen is a good example of a columnar form. It is appealing because of its narrow width, especially for people with small gardens. A columnar form draws the eye strongly, and then up, which can direct attention away from the garden.
A pyramidal form is an active form too. It draws the eye up and then down. Pyramidal forms keep attention in the garden, but should still be used with caution. Western Red Cedars have a pyramidal form. A weeping form is easy and attractive to use in your garden. It draws the eye down, and so can be used to highlight other features. Weeping forms are beautiful beside a pond. Weeping pussy willow is an attractive example.
Other tree forms are less active. They can still direct your eye, but they do it more slowly, creating a calmer, relaxed mood. They are also easier to place in your garden.
A round form is the most neutral, and so is very versatile. It can fade into the background or be a focal point, especially if it has beautiful flowers or bright colour. Crabapple trees have round forms. An upright oval or horizontal form directs your eye, but in a calmer, more subtle way. It will keep attention in the garden and is also an easy form to use. A much loved example of a horizontal form is a Japanese maple.
A vase form, like a Kwanzan flowering cherry, is again more active than a round or oval form, but still brings a calming effect. It moves the eye gently up and out, and again is easy to place in the garden.
As you can see, choosing a tree for your garden can be very thought provoking. Think carefully about the mood and effect you are trying to create before making a decision. We have many examples of all these forms at Art’s, and now is a great time to look and choose. We’re always happy to help.