Tree Advice

The Right Tree in the Right Place

Selecting suitable trees for particular sites and soils

Planting the right tree in the right place is the most important decision facing tree growers. Correct matching of species with sites and soils ensures that trees are growing in the right environment and will perform well with minimum maintenance. Mistakes made in species selection will result in poor growth performance and eventual losses, no matter how well trees are maintained. Observation is the first and best guide: check the site and existing trees growing well in the immediate area. If for example, the site is damp and is supporting trees such as alder, then you can select it and other species that grow well under these conditions such as poplar, birch, willow and whitethorn. The grower should consult a professional if in doubt especially in large scale planting where soil testing may be required.

Damp Sites

Native Trees: Alder (Alnus species), Birch (Betula pubescens), Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) Poplar (Populus tremula), Willow (Salix species), Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia)
Non-native and Ornamental Trees: Caucasian wing nut (Pterocarya fraxinifolia), Snowy mespilus (Amelanchier lamarckii)

Coastal Areas

Native Trees: Strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo), Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), Ash (Fraxinus excelsior), Holly (Ilex), Oak (Quercus robur and Q. petraea), Willow (Salix species), Whitebeam (Sorbus aria), Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia), Poplar (Populus tremula and P. alba), Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa)
Non-native and Ornamental Trees: Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus and cultivars), Spanish chestnut (Castanea sativa), Eucalypt (Eucalyptus species), Turkey oak (Quercus cerris), Holm oak (Quercus ilex)

Cold, Exposed Sites

Native Trees: Ash (Fraxinus excelsior), Birch (Betula pendula), Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), Poplar (Populus tremula), Oak (Quercus robur), Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia), Yew (Taxus baccata), Juniper (Juniperus communis), Whitebeam (Sorbus aria)
Non-native and Ornamental Trees: Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus and cultivars), Lime (Tilia cordata), Larches (Larix species), Spruces (Picea sitchensis and others), Pines (Pinus nigra and others), Western red cedar (Thuja plicata), Beech (Fagus sylvatica)

Shallow Soils

Native Trees: Birch (Betula pendula), Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia), Crab (Malus sylvestris), Whitebeam (Sorbus aria), Cherry (Prunus padus and P. avium), Yew (Taxus baccata), Juniper (Juniperus communis)
Non-native and Ornamental Trees: Maples (Acer platanoides), Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus), Horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum), Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus), Beech (Fagus sylvatica), Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata), Pines (Pinus nigra and others)

Industrial Areas

Native Trees: Alder (Alnus species), Birch (Betula pendula and B. pubescens), Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), Ash (Fraxinus excelsior), Willow (Salix species), Holly (Ilex aquifolium), Crab (Malus sylvestris), Poplar (Populus tremula), Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia), Yew (Taxus baccata), Bird cherry (Prunus padus)
Non-native and Ornamental Trees: Maples (Acer platanoides and cultivars), Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus and cultivars), Snowy mespilus (Amelanchier species), Horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum), Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus), Beech (Fagus sylvatica), Plane (Platanus species), Lime (Tilia x europaea, T. platyphyllos and cultivars)

Heavy, Clay Soils

Native Trees: Alder (Alnus species), Birch (Betula pendula), Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), Ash (Fraxinus excelsior), Holly (Ilex aquifolium), Crab (Malus sylvestris), Poplar (Populus tremula), Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), Oak (Quercus robur and Q. petraea), Willow (Salix species), Whitebeam (Sorbus aria), Yew (Taxus baccata)
Non-native and Ornamental Trees: Maples (Acer platanoides and cultivars), Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus and cultivars), Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus), Lime (Tilia species), Firs (Abies species), Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata), Western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla), Caucasian wing nut (Pterocarya fraxinifolia), Dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides), Snowy mespilus (Amelanchier lamarckii)

Urban Streets and Confined Spaces

Native Trees: Birch (Betula pendula), Cherry (Prunus padus ‘Fastigiata’), Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia varieties)
Non-native and Ornamental Trees: Field Maple (Acer campestre ‘Elsrijk’), Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus ‘Fastigiata’), Turkish hazel (Corylus colurna), Lime (Tilia cordata ‘Green Spire’), Chanticleer pear (Pyrus calleryana ‘Chanticleer’), Beech (Fagus sylvatica ‘Dawyck’), Oak (Quercus robur ‘Fastigiata’), Elm (Ulmus ‘Lobel’ and U.‘Dodoens’), Ash (Fraxinus ornus ‘Obelisk’)