Trees for the Front Garden

The front garden is a prime spot for planting, including trees. At a time when gardens are decreasing in size and multi-car households are looking for more parking space, the general trend is for diminishing front garden space. This is a real pity. A well-placed tree can improve the appearance of your home and even the street - not to mention the incredibly important benefits trees provide to our ecosystem and air quality.  

If you are thinking about planting a tree in your front garden, we offer advice on some important points to think about first along with tips for successful planting.

How to Choose the Right Tree for your Front Garden

Select an Appropriate Size Tree

When deciding on a tree for your front garden, always look at the expected height and width potential trees reach at maturity. An English oak, for example, is a magnificent native tree but will soar to 12 metres high and 8 metres wide after 25 years. You don't want your tree to outgrow your available space and it should also not overhang your neighbour’s property over time. 

Think About its Position

You don't want to place your tree too close to your house as you do not want to damage the foundations. Again, the ultimate size of the tree is an important factor affecting size of roots - alongside, of course, how close you plant it to the house. 

Consider Year-Round Interest

One of the great benefits of planting in your front garden is the visibility and happiness it can give to anyone walking past your home - as well as yourself. A tree that offers multiple seasons of interest is ideal for a front garden. Look for tree varieties that offer attractive spring colour, along with a good autumn show.

Trees and the Law

There is actually no law about what you can or can’t plant within the boundaries of your own garden. That said, it is absolutely best to think about any consequences for your neighbours and you may want to consider telling them about your intention. You would be liable for any damage caused to their property by your tree. Hopefully, they will be happy that you are improving the appearance of your space and supporting the environment. 

Recommended Trees for the Front Garden

There are a number of trees that work well in the front garden, but these are some of our favourites - smaller to medium-size trees with fantastic colour and interest across multiple seasons.

Prunus sargentii 'Rancho'

This is a tough tree with a narrow form. It offers a beautiful display of spring flowers, grouped together in pairs and fours, plus a wonderful autumn display from September. Grows to 7m high x 3m wide after 25 years.

>> Read more about Prunus sargentii 'Rancho' 

Prunus 'Snow Goose'

This upright cherry tree has brilliant, white blossoms that open in April - hence the name. In autumn, the leaves turn warming shades of marmalade and crimson amber. Grows to 6m high x 3m wide after 25 years.

>> Read more about Prunus 'Snow Goose' 

Prunus 'Sunset Boulevard'

This narrow, upright cherry tree is also a little taller than the others, reaching 10-12metres at maturity. It offers elegant blossom in spring with wonderful tones of scarlet orange and golden yellow foliage in autumn.

>> Read more about Prunus 'Sunset Boulevard' 

Prunus Spire

Prunus 'Spire' was raised by Hillier Nurseries back in the early 1920s. The canopy creates a narrow pillar shape, covered in light and airy pink blossom during spring. In the autumn the foliage turns warming shades of purples and reds. Grows to 6m high x 3m wide after 25 years - although the very original Hillier tree, which is still going, has now reached an impressive 10m.  

>> Read more about Prunus 'Spire' 

Pyrus calleryana 'Chanticleer'

This variety of ornamental pear is a medium-size tree that produces profuse pear blossom in March-April and brilliant colour in autumn. It is very hardy and in our opinion one of the very best varieties of Pyrus calleryana. 

>> Read more about Pyrus calleryana 'Chanticleer'

Buying Your Tree

Did you know that Hillier is the UK's largest grower of trees, with around 750,000 trees growing at any one time across our field nurseries in Hampshire?

Our extensive range of British-grown trees are available for individuals as well as commercial customers, thanks to our tree retail team, based at Hillier Garden Centre Sunningdale.

Trees can be planted all year around, but the best times of year are between October and March. 

If you would like to purchase a tree from Hillier, first contact our tree retail team to discuss your requirements. They can talk in detail about suitable options for your available space. Once you have chosen your tree, you will also be given options around how big that tree will be, measured in pot size (litres) and trunk girth (cms). The larger the trunk girth, the greater the size and maturity of the tree, offering immediate impact. More mature trees are naturally more expensive, as extra time has gone into their care on our fields.

Delivery of your tree can also be arranged at time of purchase. 

Planting Advice for Your Front Garden Tree

Planting your tree is relatively straightforward if you just follow a few simple steps.

1. Dig the hole for the tree. The depth of the hole should be such that the rootball, when planted, is level with the top of the hole and does not stick up when you fill in around it. The width should be approximately twice that of the rootball. 

2. Once your tree is in place in the hole, Back fill with a mixture of soil and multi-purpose compost.

3. Apply a light top-dressing of suitable fertiliser and water all around the tree.

4. Stake the tree in place to minimise any damage from wind as it grows. Hillier can provide you with a quality stake and tie with your order. Place the stake at a slight angle to the tree, not directly parallel with it, to improve wind resistance. Fasten one loop of the tie securely around the tree, ideally a metre or less from the ground, and secure the other loop around the stake.

5. Continue to water regularly as the tree establishes and especially in drier spells   

If you would like to discuss a tree for your front garden, or in any other position, contact the experts at our tree retail team.