How to Choose the Right Trees for Your Garden

A garden with trees is a beautiful sight. They are beautiful, offer shade, and are an ideal way to build a wall and offer privacy from your neighbors. But there are so many trees to choose from, fast-growing ones, slow-growing ones, ones that shed their leaves, and those that keep their leaves throughout the year.

garden tree
garden tree

Why Do You Want Trees?

The first thing to consider when thinking of adding trees to your garden is: why do you want them in the first place? Are you looking to get your garden established? Are you wanting to add privacy from your neighbors or looking for a way to add natural shade to the area?

Depending on your reasoning behind wanting trees in your garden will offer the type of trees you should consider. If you are looking at privacy, then the faster-growing softwood trees will be a better option. While these don’t live as long as the slower-growing hardwood trees, they grow fast enough to offer you the privacy you are looking for.

If you want a beautiful tree in the corner of the garden, maybe to add a swing later and enjoy some shade on a sunny day, then the slower-growing hardwood trees are the option. These trees live for hundreds of years.

Types of Trees

Are you a gardener at heart? If you aren’t a keen gardener and the thought of raking up leaves during autumn isn’t for you, then choosing Evergreen trees is the right choice. Evergreen trees don’t lose their leaves and remain green throughout the year, reducing the amount of maintenance you need to do to your garden.

But if it’s the beauty you are after with stunning orange leaves in autumn that fall all over the garden in a colorful display, then deciduous trees are what you are looking for.

The type of tree is very important. It would be best if you made the right choice from the word go; uprooting a tree at a later stage is not only dangerous to the tree but can cost a small fortune.

Where to Place Trees

It would help if you had a clear plan in mind before you purchase your trees. Obviously, the larger trees will look out of sorts in a compact or smaller garden, but they will thrive in a large space. It would help if you chose where you place your trees carefully. You don’t want them to take over your garden, so placing them in the middle of the garden probably isn’t a good plan.

The best rule of thumb is to place the smaller trees closer to the home to offer you some shade on a sunny day, and larger trees should be placed away from home and closer to the boundary wall or fence.

You will also need to consider the soil conditions and the amount of sun the area gets each day. Some trees thrive in shady conditions, while others prefer the sunlight to grow. Your nursery will be able to advise you when you know whether the space you have chosen is shady or sunny.

There are some amazing ornamental trees available for smaller gardens. These often only grow to around forty-five feet and come in some bold and bright colors to delight your garden. These are the perfect choice for smaller gardens looking for a splash of color.

Establishing a garden is a hard decision, especially if you are moving into a new property. You have to decide where to plant your trees, flowers, and shrubs and be happy with your decision, as removing everything later isn’t really an option.

Choosing The Right Tree Size For A Home

Size matters. Tree size especially matters since smaller trees require less work than larger ones. Different types of soil can sustain different trees, and different plots can handle different sizes of trees.

Some homeowners prefer smaller trees, while others prefer huge, towering trees perfect for swings, tree houses, and shade. For a first-time buyer, size should be the number one concern when purchasing a tree.

Bigger trees require more money to maintain but yield bigger fruit payoffs when in season. Smaller trees require less pruning, netting, and spraying but do not yield as much fruit. If you consider buying a new fruit tree, you may want to consider the different size trees available.

right size of tree

Standard Tree

Ever see a big, 25 to 30-foot tree looming overhead? If you have, that typically is a standard. It has a massive trunk with large branches stretching from its shoot; its leaves offer plenty of shade and yield hundreds of pieces of fruit when they are in season.

Of course, these behemoths require much work to maintain; there is much pruning, spraying, and netting required to keep the tree healthy and growing properly.

Standard trees take about 3 to 5 years before they start to bear fruit, and it could be decades before they reach their full size. However, standards have the longest lifespan of the three sizes, but like all trees, the lifespan does depend on the care and type; for instance, cherry trees last around 20 years while peach trees may last only 10 years.


Before scientists could breed smaller trees, standards were the only size a person could find. Standing in at around 10 to 16 feet, semi-dwarfs are perfect for individuals who want a medium-size tree requiring not too much maintenance, one that still yields plenty of fruit.

With a semi-dwarf, a homeowner still gets the benefits of a standard (e.g., great shade, perfect for a swing set, and a decent amount of fruit). Of course, one downside to semi-dwarf sized trees is that many will have a great season in which they produce lots of fruit, followed by a season with very little fruit.


For the grower with little time on her hands, a dwarf tree is perfect. Dwarf trees do not grow very tall, which means less maintenance but also less fruit. However, someone may want a dwarf if they have a small backyard but still want some fruit tree.

Also, individuals can grow multiple dwarfs to have a selection of fruits to pick from. For instance, you can have peach, orange, and even plum trees in a backyard, all requiring little upkeep.


How to Choose the Right Trees for Your Garden

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