Tall Decorative Trees In Landscape Design. Selection Rules. Photo

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Tall Decorative Trees In Landscape Design. Selection Rules. Photo
Tall Decorative Trees In Landscape Design. Selection Rules. Photo

Video: Tall Decorative Trees In Landscape Design. Selection Rules. Photo

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Video: Landscape Design - Site Planning - Part 1 2023, January

Tall trees are not just the most important structural and protective elements of the site design. It is not for nothing that designers often call them “the crown of the garden”: they create the basis, the base of design, style and concept, are responsible for the harmony and attractiveness of any site for decades. And the most important role is played not by fruit trees, but by their decorative cousins. Near the house or on the far borders of the site, in splendid isolation or with a retinue on a flower garden - large ornamental trees invariably remain the most spectacular and important elements of landscaping.

Large trees in the garden can become generic and delight several generations
Large trees in the garden can become generic and delight several generations


  • The difficult role of the head of the garden kingdom
  • Rules for choosing tall trees for a site
  • 6 favorites among tall trees

The difficult role of the head of the garden kingdom

Large trees are always in the spotlight. And not only in the literal sense: they subjugate the entire landscape, dictate the main focal points and order the space, define and emphasize its arrangement, in fact, being an element of design just as impressive and unique as large architectural elements.

A treeless garden isn't just boring. It is lifeless, it seems like a flat, banal and expressionless plain. And at least one large tree should be even in the smallest area. Indeed, without this counterweight to the house, you cannot create a harmonious project, no matter how pretentious the design is.

It is no coincidence that such trees are often called family trees: this is the most reliable and most durable element of landscaping, the most important and most significant, determining coziness and comfort, a sense of security and isolation of the garden. And every year the value of a large tree, its role and significance is growing. After all, flower beds and colors can change around, and even a garden can be transformed beyond recognition in style, but the main tree on the site will still perfectly perform its functions.

Large trees can have different functionality
Large trees can have different functionality

A large tree in the garden plays a role:

  • main focal point;
  • a building-balancing element;
  • the highest vertical accent;
  • a source of fertile shadow for a recreation area;
  • garden-style centerpiece;
  • starting point in the placement of functional and decorative objects, the choice of the structure and forms of compositions;
  • the main means of emphasizing the three-dimensionality of the landscape;
  • a source of a special atmosphere of comfort, security, fullness;
  • the main color accent (usually with a "focus" on seasonality - flowering in spring, variegated crown in summer or autumn outfit), etc.

The functional purpose of the giants on the site does not diminish the possibilities of their use in design. Such a tree does not have to be planted in splendid isolation on an empty site.

Tall decorative woods can be used to shade a resting corner, decorate a large lawn, and place it as a central structuring element. And you can even land it at the house or porch as an accent (with reasonable proximity - without reducing the distance to less than half the diameter of the crown), hide it in a hedge and even a flower garden.

At the same time, “tallness” is different for each garden. Trees are considered large, the height of which is close to the house, commensurate with the size of the site as a whole. For a small garden, even a three-meter tree is considered high. For a large plot, you can afford true giants reaching 20-30 m in height and even create alleys from them.

Large trees are often referred to as boring, “standard” landscaping elements. But such an opinion about the gigantic group of garden plants itself is not only erroneous, but also almost criminal: in order to fall in love with ornamental trees of "maxi" size, it is enough to observe them at least one season.

A gentle wave of foam-like bloom, alternating with a scattering of fruits and shining leaves, and then giving way to a fiery autumn outfit, is a sight typical for even the most modest of garden giants. And for some, it even turns simple trees into the main decoration of the garden. Derain white with its motley outfit, touching weeping birch, maples with bronze summer color and carmine autumn leaves, like many of their maxi-sized cousins, will make you quickly forget about standards.

The selected tall tree should be like you
The selected tall tree should be like you

Rules for choosing tall trees for a site

The selection of a large tree is largely a matter of taste. First of all, remember that tall trees, let alone giants, are brought into the garden for decades, and sometimes centuries. And they should be close in spirit to you. Everything about them - from the shape of the crown to the leaves and bark - you should like. But there are also quite objective rules for choosing giants.

European beech, or Forest beech (Fagus sylvatica)
European beech, or Forest beech (Fagus sylvatica)

The main guidelines for finding your ideal large tree should be:

  • its functional purpose;
  • the style of the house and other buildings on the site;
  • the area that a large tree can occupy (after reaching its maximum size).

But the desired crown shape is most often a subordinate criterion. It is chosen not only to taste, but also given the area of ​​the site. For a small garden, it is advisable to choose large trees with rounded, spherical crowns or vertically elongated outlines; for large ones, you can afford any kind of power and spreading.

But everything is relative: weeping trees are good in all circumstances. And umbrella-shaped, tent-shaped giants can fit well into different gardens, if they are combined with buildings, compact new varieties are selected or trees are sheared and shaped.

On large areas, maples, rowan, linden can be replaced with oak, ash, beech. For gardens of a much more modest area, decorative cherries and apple trees, maples, plums, robinia pseudoacacia, whole-leaved willows, goat and white, round-leaved and common mountain ash, weeping birch, cobus magnolia, bignonium catalpa are a much more rational choice.

Those who want to create a garden on a very modest area will be helped by trees in tubs - privet, holly on a trunk, palm-shaped maple, magnolias and exotics, which will have to be taken indoors for the winter, will allow you to enter a large tree even on mini-plots near city houses …

When choosing a plant for your garden, it is imperative to take into account not only decorativeness, but also winter hardiness. Catalpa, for example, is predominantly suitable for southern regions, while maples and apple trees will withstand even the harshest winters.

When choosing a tree for the garden, focus on its winter hardiness. For example, Paulownia tomentosa is not suitable for regions with harsh winters
When choosing a tree for the garden, focus on its winter hardiness. For example, Paulownia tomentosa is not suitable for regions with harsh winters

6 favorites among tall trees

Everyone's favorites maples platanovidnye or ostorolistnye (acer platanoides), as well as their counterparts from among the ornamental maples knowingly occupy a special place in the heart of any landscape designer. Indeed, among them there are modest trees up to 2.5 meters high, and giants up to 6 meters in height and in diameter (for example, the legendary Globosum variety). The impressive color change from season to season is no more important than the beauty of the leaves, the density of the curly crown and the extraordinary picturesqueness that turns each maple into a real star in any landscape.

Norway Maple, or Platan Maple, or Platan-leaved Maple (Acer platanoides)
Norway Maple, or Platan Maple, or Platan-leaved Maple (Acer platanoides)

Small -sawed plum (prunus serrulata) is a tree, even if it reaches ten meters in height at a venerable age, but at the same time changes the boring shape of the crown into elegant cascades. The point is that the older the plum is, the more its branches hang down, creating picturesque "fountains".

The lover of sunny areas fully justifies the title of a fabulous tree in spring. After all, you can endlessly admire the miracle of the blooming fine-sawed plum in early May. Small pink flowers dot the spreading branches with thick lace, and the whole tree turns into a magical vision.

Small-sawed cherry (Prunus serrulata)
Small-sawed cherry (Prunus serrulata)

Linden (tilia) - classic wood, which is often chosen to be the guardian of the family. And it is from limes that the most spectacular alleys are obtained. Slender, elongated, these thirty-meter beauties bloom very late, only in the middle of summer. But the cheerful color of the leaves, the dense crown, the extraordinary aroma and cozy noise that linden brings to the site fully compensate for the short flowering period. These woody ones are great for alleys in large areas, but in gardens of a modest area, they will be appropriate provided they are planted in splendid isolation.

Heart-shaped linden (Tilia cordata)
Heart-shaped linden (Tilia cordata)

Weeping birch (betula pendula) will make you forget about the status of "boring classics". This plant is constantly in motion thanks to the long and thin branches that hang almost to the ground. The beauty will not exceed 6-8 meters in height, but it always seems graceful, almost weightless and unusually elegant. It gives the gardens a romantic charm and poetry, fits perfectly into complex decorative plantings.

Weeping birch (betula pendula)
Weeping birch (betula pendula)

The silvery, unusual round-leaved mountain ash (sorbus aria) always seems especially spectacular. A bluish shade of foliage, dark on top and whitish on the bottom, a maximum height of 15 meters with slow growth, distinguish it from the rest of the mountain ash. As, however, and orange, catchy color of the fruit, and a thicker crown.

Regions with mild winters have another favorite, European beech (fagus sylvatica), especially its red and dark-leaved drooping varieties such as Purpurea Pendula. This giant, limited to 5 meters in height, makes an impression at first sight. The luxury of regal beauty, seeming black foliage, cascades of thin branches conquer with modern audacity and extraordinary picturesqueness.

However, those who live in the south have something to admire besides beech: the uniquely graceful flowering paulownia tomentosa, magnolias of all varieties, and citrus fruits with olive trees - there are plenty to choose from.

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