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Midlothian, United Kingdom Gb

A woodland area
Hi I would like to extend a small woodland type area at the top of my new garden and am looking for some advice with tree/shrub planting. I am currently removing a large deck and this will open up a whole new area to plant.
The width of the area once cleared is 12m and it is backed by a 6ft high boundary fence. In one corner there is a young tree obviously planted by the previous owners. I can make out on the label still attached Betula uti. Moonbeam. It looks as if it hasn't been there very long. There are some hellebores and bulbs there too. It is this planting that has me thinking about extending the woodland feel.
I considered adding a few more of the same tree to make a feature out of them but then decided that perhaps different trees (small obviously) would be more beneficial to wildlife.
The area gets sun for most of the day and my garden can be quite windy at times. I thought 2 or 3 more trees with shrubs in between.
Any suggestions on which trees and shrubs would be suitable. Eventually they would also provide a screen from the neighbours in summer but don't want anything too big that it causes disputes.
I am new to gardening but would like to get it right first time. Also should I plant the trees first then wait a couple of years before adding the shrubs or can they all be planted at the same time.
Thank you very much for your help and suggestions.



Well we know its 12m wide, but how long is it, this area? That info is pretty important to give good advice, but I will say one thing - unless its very long, you may get one more small or columnar tree in there, but I doubt you've room for more, tho' let's see once you've given the measurement... Photograph or two would be useful as well... also, how far away from the nearest house or building is this area? That needs consideration because of tree roots... and is the area naturally sunny or in shade a lot of the time?

4 May, 2016


Thanks, in answer to your comments :
Presently the border in this area is around 2m deep from front to the fence. That can/will be widened to a depth I need for planting providing I don't need an area of 6m x 12m to plant in. This allows for the remainder of lawn to stay and for hanging out washing. Other plant borders are near the house so not interfeering with this project.
The nearest houses all around are around 25m away on 3 sides and the 4th side 1 garden shed.
It is naturally sunny once the sun is high enough in March right through from 9am until 8pn
I don't have a camera to take pictures and my daughter is away on holiday to do some for me.

4 May, 2016


While you are thinking you might like to consider a crab apple tree on a fairly dwarfing rootstock (this is important)if there is room - you get blossom in spring and decorative little apples either for the birds or jelly in autumn. Remember to plant with an eye to how big a tree will be in another 10-15 years and don't be tempted to plant for what looks good now.
Your birch should grow to at least 6m, high and as much across in 10 years (so lets hope its planted far enough from the fence)

The beauty of the birch is the colour of the bark and the shape of the tree so best not plant anything that will detract from that - plenty of suggestions here when the trees are decided on.

Looking forward to seeing a photo.

4 May, 2016


As the area gets sun for most of the day, woodland planting isn't viable until you have an established tree canopy. Until then, it will be far too hot for woodland plants.

5 May, 2016


The questioner is in Scotland, Rosie, we don't do 'hot' ;-))))

5 May, 2016


I would definitely like to see photos of the area - that might mean you need to repost, or you can add photos in your Photos section and just post a note here to tell us they're now in place for us to look at... It sounds like your garden might be north facing, from your description of the sun's transit...

Bulbaholic - generally I know you don't do 'hot' up there, but just occasionally, it happens, doesn't it, lol! Not often enough to worry about plantings though, I imagine..

5 May, 2016


How about a hazel? They can grow into trees, but can be keep in shape, coppiced or left to grow. They have pretty spring leaves, catkins and nuts! Very woodland, the wood mice and squirrels love them.

5 May, 2016

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