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Suitable tree for courtyard


 
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Salome
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 30 Jan 2011
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 10:09 am    Post subject: Suitable tree for courtyard Reply with quote

Hi all, I was wondering if you be of help to me. We are just coming to the completion of a renovation job on the house and with a new structure where double garage was, we have ended up with a courtyard which is about 30 sq metres in size and north facing.
Can you recommend a tree that would be suitable for the space and will look well? Had a white bark birch in mind but again not sure if a particular type of birch is better than another regarding roots, height, width/span etc. Or another tree would be more suitable? Apart from tree no real room for other greenery in this space. House/wall ie all isdes of courtyard is pretty much 2 storey in height.
Your suggestions would be much appreciated. Many thanks in advance
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tippben
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Posts: 896
Location: north tipperary

PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

30 sq metres is a bit vague (could be 10mx3m, or 6mx5m). Could you give the approximate dimensions? You will probably have very poor soil in the area, full of rubble, so "pioneer" species will probably fare best.

Himalayan Birch ([b]Betula utilis "Jacquemontii"[/b]) is fine in most situations, and can be reduced if it gets too big in 10 years time. [b]Betula pendula[/b] is the native silver birch, which is more graceful, and supports more wildlife. [b]Sorbus aucuparia "Sheerwater's Seedling" [/b] is a red berried Rowan, with a diamond shaped growth pattern, so it wouldn't get very wide. [b]Crataegous laevigata "Crimson Cloud" [/b] is a hawthorn that has single flowers with a red edge to the petals. This means that you get a pinkish blossom effect, and berries in the autumn, unlike the common double flowered forms.

More unusual trees to try could be a fig (brown turkey is a good cultivar), as these work best if their roots are very confined by building a box of slabs or blocks about a metre wide around the tree when planting. A Snowy Mespilus ([b]Amelanchier canadensis[/b]) is a small rounded tree with very early white blossom, red fruits in summer, and good autumn colour. If the site is very sheltered from wind and early morning sun, you could try a japanese [b]Acer palmatum[/b], but they are VERY expensive to buy as large specimen trees due to the slow growth rate. The Judas Tree [b](Cercis siliquastrum)[/b] has beautiful purple flowers on the bare wood in late spring, and yellowish brown autumn colour.

I would avoid cherries and plums, as their surface roots swell quite a lot, and could damage any paving or surface in the courtyard. In addition, fruiting trees such as crab apples, mulberries, medlars etc. could be a bit messy in the autumn (although I wouldn't mind- I'd eat the fruit!).

Hope this helps.
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Salome
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi tippben, many thanks for your multiple suggestions, I'll certainly have a look at all. The courtyard is almost square so probably 6m x 5m. The area will be sheltered and unfortunately not a lot of sun. Once again thanks for the suggestions
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tippben
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Posts: 896
Location: north tipperary

PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

6 by 5 was what I was thinking. All of the trees I suggested can be pruned fairly hard in winter, but they all have a narrow width, except the fig and amelanchier. When judging a tree's potential, a small tree = 30' x 20' in 20 years. They will often grow slowly, so expect to pay more for a decent sized plant. The birch and rowan will grow taller in time, but are narrow, and if you did need them reduced, the loppings will make excellent firewood.
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