As National Tree Week approaches from November 25th to December 3rd, British Garden Centres invites you to join the celebration championed by the Tree Council. Recognized as the UK’s largest annual tree celebration, National Tree Week marks the commencement of the winter tree planting season. Planting trees during this period offers numerous advantages, as the autumn-planted trees experience reduced stress, requiring less watering and aftercare, thanks to the warm and moist soil.
National Tree Week holds significance in promoting tree planting and acknowledging the invaluable role trees play in our environment. It’s a time to contemplate the benefits of trees and foster the greening of our surroundings. Selecting the right trees for your garden can significantly contribute to the health of the ecosystem, providing food and shelter for wildlife, improving air quality, and enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space. British Garden Centres, in preparation for this occasion, offers insights into the best trees for your outdoor space.
Where to plant your tree
Before planting trees, ensure they are suitable for your garden’s soil and climate. Consider growth characteristics, such as height and spread, to fit well within the available space. Dig a hole of the depth of the root ball for your tree, plant, and stake to protect against the elements and wind.
Choosing your container
For those planning to plant trees in containers, British Garden Centres recommends using pots approximately 50cm in diameter. Visit your local store, where knowledgeable teams can advise on the best pots for your tree. Choose a sturdy, durable pot made of insulated materials like terracotta or wood that can withstand frost and cold weather.
When selecting a spot for your container and tree, opt for a sheltered area that is easily accessible, as it will be challenging to move once planted. Fill the container halfway with loam-based compost, adding bone meal to promote root establishment. Place the tree in the pot, fill it with more compost, gently firming it down as you go. Remember to water the tree well and place the container on pot feet to aid drainage in wetter winter months.
Dwarf rootstock apple trees, such as ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’, ‘Golden Delicious’, ‘Greensleeves’, ‘Hereford Russet’, and ‘Red Windsor’, thrive in both flower beds and containers. For pear trees, the ‘Concorde’ or ‘Conference’ variety is ideal for a patio container, being naturally compact and self-fertile. Figs, such as ‘Brown Turkey’, flourish in containers, offering increased fruit production.
Japanese maples and acers, known for their stunning display of bright red and orange leaves during autumn, thrive as small, deciduous trees. Ensure optimal growth by placing them in a sheltered location, protected from strong winds and direct sunlight, watering regularly during summers.
Other options include flowering cherries, magnolias, and weeping willows, offering a variety of leaf sizes, shapes, and colors. Some trees bloom magnificently in spring, while others showcase brilliant autumn foliage.
Conifers, excellent for low-maintenance yet attractive garden landscaping, provide year-round color in various shades, textures, shapes, and sizes. Cupressus Wilma, for example, offers a lemon scent, while Cypress Baby Blue illuminates pots with silver-blue sprays. Bay trees, renowned for their fragrance and used in topiary, make stylish additions to kitchen gardens and doorways.
Julian Palphramand, Head of Plants at British Garden Centres, emphasizes, “November is nature’s time to plant trees, and British Garden Centres has everything you need this National Tree Week. By planting the right trees in your garden, you not only enhance your garden but also play a vital role in supporting the ecosystem. Whether you choose fruit trees, flowering trees, shade trees, or evergreen trees, each selection adds value to your garden and the environment as a whole. Let’s celebrate National Tree Week by planting trees that will benefit generations to come.”