Choice of tree
Every species of tree has its own specific characteristics and requirements in terms of location. The anticipated final look of the tree and its intended location are therefore crucial factors when choosing the tree. There is a suitable tree for every location. For most locations, the range of options is exceptionally broad. By taking into account the parameters below when making your choice, you will do a great deal to ensure optimum growth opportunities and a successful result. Our staff can help you to choose a suitable type of tree.
Final lookYou have an image in mind of your desired tree in a certain location. With this, you need to consider how tall and how wide the tree will be, in other words the maximum height and width that the tree could possibly become. Perhaps you are looking for a tree that needs to perform a certain role, such as shielding a view, bearing fruit or creating shade for a certain area. Would you like a tree with stunning autumn colours, or with magnificent blossom in the spring? Does your desired tree have a thick, full crown or would you prefer a tree with a lighter crown that still lets a lot of light through?
The answers to these questions, together with the intended location of the tree, will determine your choice of tree.
LocationBesides the parameters that determine the final look of your tree, another essential factor to consider is the intended location. Will the tree be planted in sandy, clay or loam soil? What is the moisture level of the soil? Is the soil acidic or alkaline? Will the tree be exposed to high winds? Will the tree have plenty of rootable space available or will it be close to a paved area?
These are all crucial parameters that influence the final choice of tree.
Tree formsEvery type of tree has its own natural growth habit, either a narrow or broader form, tall or short. However, the final form of the tree is not only determined by its natural growth habit. For certain types of tree, columnar and weeping varieties are cultivated. A multi-stemmed cultivated tree produces a very different look to a standard tree.
The desired final look is already a good indicator for the choice of form. In a small space, a columnar tree may be a good option, whereas outside a window or on a terrace, an attractive multi-stemmed tree could be planted.
All the different tree forms are explained at the bottom of this page.
Tree sizesVarious size codes are applied to trees in a nursery. The above diagrams show how standard, multi-stemmed and solitary trees are measured.
Further explanation is provided at the bottom of this page and clarification of all the sizes is given in our catalogue.
Tree forms and tree sizes
There are various tree forms and tree sizes. Below we provide a short description of the different terminology used in tree nurseries.
- Standard tree: A standard tree always has a single trunk without branches, 1.8 m to 2.5 m in length, under the crown of the tree.
- Half standard tree: A half standard tree has a single trunk without branches, maximum 1.5 m in length. The half standard form is only suitable for a limited number of tree species.
- Feathered: A feathered tree has a straight, central trunk with lateral branches below 60 cm from the ground. A feathered tree form is used for aesthetic reasons, for columnar trees, for trees subject to formative pruning, or for trees that are susceptible to sun scald on the trunk.
- Multi-stemmed tree: Multi-stemmed trees are grown with multiple stems emerging laterally no higher than 50 cm from the ground.
- Solitary: A solitary tree/ shrub is a large shrub or small tree which emanates a particular character. The trunk and branches do not follow any particular pattern or rules but are unique to each plant.
- Shaped trees:
- Espalier tree: With espalier trees, the branches are trained along horizontal wires or wooden canes 50 cm apart, from a central trunk without branches of 2 m in length. The trees are pruned back annually, so that the horizontal structure of the branches remains fully visible.
- Pleached tree: Pleached trees have a single trunk 2 m in length but, unlike espalier trees, they do not have a horizontal structure but a full, dense crown which serves as a visual screen. These trees are typically used as a visual buffer.
- Low pleached trees: The tree is pleached from approximately 20 cm above the ground, providing coverage from ground level.
- Roof form tree: A roof form tree, also known as a parasol tree, has a longer trunk to allow good head clearance below the crown, making it easier to walk and sit beneath the tree. The single trunk without branches is 2.7 m long and is topped by the horizontal, 1.8 m wide 'roof' structure.
- Technical specification sheets for espalier and pleached trees are available from the nursery. These can be requested via the contact form.
Besides these tree forms, there is huge variation in crown forms and crown structures available, for example columnar trees or trees with dense or more open crown structures. Our staff will gladly advise you on all these aspects.
There are various ways to measure a tree, depending on the tree form. In our online catalogue you will find measurements next to each plant. Here we explain what these measurements mean.
- Standard trees: Standard trees are measured according to their girth. The girth is the circumference of the trunk measured 1 m from ground level. These measurements are expressed in cm and up to a girth of 20 cm, an interval of 2 cm equates to one tree size. For example, one of the tree sizes for standard trees is 18/20 cm. In our online catalogue this is referred to as 18/20 cm girth. Above a girth of 20 cm, the tree size is expressed in intervals of 5 cm, for example tree size 30/35 cm. Above a girth of 40 cm, the interval increases to 10 cm, for example tree size 50/60 cm.
- Multi-stemmed and solitary trees: These are almost always measured in height. An example of a tree size for these trees is 350-400 cm.
- Width measurements: A small number of our plants are measured by width. These are species which tend to grow outwards rather than upwards. This may be the case, for example, with wide growing pines. Therefore, be sure to check whether the measurement in the catalogue is stated as width or height.
Small shrubs and perennial plants
Small shrubs and perennial plants can be sold in the following sizes:
- Root ball: Small shrubs can be sold with root ball. These shrubs are removed from the ground after your order in the planting season and then placed ready to be collected or delivered.
- Container: These can be sold at any time of the year, depending on availability. There are various container sizes. Perennial plants are usually sold in containers of 0.55L/P9 cm. These are containers of 9x9 cm with a volume capacity of 0.55 litres. A number of perennial plants can also be sold in larger container sizes. Smaller shrubs are also frequently sold in containers. The indication ‘pot’ stands for a container with a capacity of 1 to 2 liters, a large bush in pot stands for a container with a capacity of 2,5 to 3,5 liters
For the best planting season and the availability of the plants, we advise you to take a look at our page about the planting time.