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The Ultimate Tree Guide for First Time Homebuyers

Your garden is your own little slice of nature, and how you cultivate it is entirely down to you. Sounds liberating — but there are over a hundred common tree species in the UK, and they’re not all suitable for every garden. If you’re dreaming of a jungle paradise, follow our guide to find out which trees are right for you. first time homebuyer tree guide

What to consider before you start

You must first make sure you plant your trees legally and without dispute from your neighbours. Read our residential tree laws and neighbour disputes articles to find out more about the UK regulations for growing trees on your property.

Once you know the regulations, it’s time to decide which trees to plant.

Before you start buying and planting your trees, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • How much space do I have?
  • Is my garden prone to extreme weather?
  • Do I want to grow fruit?
  • Do I want to create an aesthetic effect?
  • How quickly do I want my trees to grow?

All these questions will affect which trees you should plant. Keep your answers in mind as we continue the guide.

Does size matter?

Big trees and small gardens are like ketchup and ice cream — they simply don’t work together. 

Large-growing trees may appear fine when they first start growing, but before long they’ll be impinging on buildings, blocking sunlight, and the roots could interfere with nearby structures. Remember, trees take years to grow to their full size, so keep that in mind when you first start planting them.

Consider the following trees for a small garden:

  • Japanese Maples — these trees are small and slow-growing but offer an attractive shape and bold colours.

  • Stewartia Monodelpha — these multi-stemmed trees take up little space and bud beautiful white flowers.

  • Cercis – these trees are also known as ‘redbuds’ due to their wine-red blossom. The ‘Avondale’ variety only grows to around 3m tall at their largest, making them ideal for a smaller garden.

How close to the house can a tree be?

Location is an important consideration when planting trees. Plant a tree too close to your home and the roots or branches may damage the building as the tree grows larger. Trees can block a lot of light to the inside of a house and can cause lots of debris on patios, especially if birds like sitting in them.

There are no set minimum recommended distances for planting different types of trees near buildings but insurance companies may have their own guidelines. Please check with your own insurance company.

Can I plant my trees in a pot?

Small trees can be planted in pots. This is useful for moving your trees around into different arrangements, and also for easy transportation when you move. 

However, you must consider that a tree can easily outgrow a pot and the roots may get damaged in the process. If you do choose to use a pot, opt for a small tree and a large pot.

How quickly will my trees grow?

You may have dreams of an outdoor jungle — but it’s not going to happen overnight. Trees grow at different rates, so if you’re not a patient person, consider these easy trees to grow:

  • Hybrid Poplar — these are some of the fastest growing trees, reaching up to 2.5m per year.

  • Quaking Aspen — a beautiful autumnal colour, this tree grows to around 1m per year.

  • Dawn Redwood — these are extremely fast growing and will reach a height of 20m plus at maturity.

What features can I get for my tree?

Not all trees are made equal. Consider a fruit or ornamental tree for that extra special touch.

If you wish to grow an abundance of fruit from your tree, consider the following:

  • Apple trees

  • Pear trees

  • Cherry trees

You could also plant berry trees, but please consider that trees full of berries will attract birds.

Ornamental trees are another option to make your foliage stand out. These are trees grown for their aesthetic value, and are recognised by their bright colours and unique shapes.

Some examples of ornamental trees include:

  • Cherry ‘Kwanzan’ — a tree of ever-changing colour. The foliage emerges a ruby-bronze, fades to dark green and then transforms into a golden orange during autumn. It blossoms with vivid pink flowers.

  • Hydrangea Tree — this round tree features stunning pink flowers bursting out of rich green foliage.

  • Magnolia Royal star — this is a towering, regal tree that blooms white flowers. In autumn the tree produces a magnificent yellow-bronze colour.

How do I maintain my tree?

If your trees grow too large or show signs of diseases or decay, you’ll need to restore them to a healthy condition and size. Fruit trees should be pruned every 2-5 years to generate good crops and other trees may need regular pruning to maintain their shape or keep them away from power lines. A professional tree surgeon can offer a range of tree maintenance services to keep your garden in top condition. 

Services include:

  • Pruning and lopping — for controlling the size of the tree and helping it to grow in the right direction.

  • Felling — for removing the tree if it is badly diseased

  • Pollarding — for reducing the height of the tree

 


Artemis Tree Services is an award-winning tree surgeon business, recently winning the ‘Employer of the Year’ and ‘Arboriculture Contractor of the Year’ at the Horticulture Week Business Awards. We care about your trees, which is why we offer a range of tree maintenance services and advice to bring your dream garden to life. For tree surgery in Rickmansworth, Watford and the wider London area, give our team a call.

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Caroline Bossowska

Friendly and polite service provided. Professional attention to tree shaping greatly appreciated. Thorough and considerate. Would highly recommend.... Friendly and polite service provided. Professional attention to tree shaping greatly appreciated. Thorough and considerate. Would highly recommend.

2 days ago

David "F"

Excelent service from start to finish.We had 23 conifer hedge trees removed and stumps ground out.It took a day & a half to complete by a team of 4,who were very professional and friendly. As we h... Excelent service from start to finish.We had 23 conifer hedge trees removed and stumps ground out.It took a day & a half to complete by a team of 4,who were very professional and friendly. As we have no side access they carried everything through the kitchen and hallway, without any damage whatsoever. I would not hesitate to recommend or use Artemis again.

2 days ago

Jeffrey Gibbins

To portray the location of this multitrunked conifer tree, it had been planted as an ornament in a rockery yet over the years it had grown to a very large ten trunk tree. It was situated sandwiched ti... To portray the location of this multitrunked conifer tree, it had been planted as an ornament in a rockery yet over the years it had grown to a very large ten trunk tree. It was situated sandwiched tightly between my garage that has a fragile and easily breakable roof, a summerhouse having a flimsy timber roof and the garden timber fence, both also easily damaged. The tree felling gang of two men very carefully cut down the tree trunk by trunk and lowered the cut lengths to ground level without any damage whatsoever to the surrounding obstacles. All the tradesmen who carried out two operations, were very pleasant to deal with and I have nothing but praise for the couple of teams Artemis sent to fell the large conifer and secondly to grind out the trunk to ground level, the guys were all very polite and professional, they were a pleasure to work with as I just made the tea and drinks and provide some beverages for them. I am more than pleased with the work they carefully carried out in my garden, thank you. Many thanks for all of Artemis Tree Services help, I shall have no hesitation to recommend your company for tree work as I may be asked in the future.

5 days ago

Anonymous

This is the second time we have used Artemis and we couldn’t recommend them highly enough. The three guys who came to our house were brilliant. Professional, friendly and most importantly did a ... This is the second time we have used Artemis and we couldn’t recommend them highly enough. The three guys who came to our house were brilliant. Professional, friendly and most importantly did a fantastic job. The price was realistic and value for the amount of work required….. Five star everything - thank you.

6 days ago

PaulH

This is the second time we've instructed Artemis Tree Services to work at our house. Their administration and attention to detail is excellent and their team on the day were very professional. W... This is the second time we've instructed Artemis Tree Services to work at our house. Their administration and attention to detail is excellent and their team on the day were very professional. Will definitely use them again.

1 week ago

Geeta Jethwa

We were very happy with Artemis . The job involved trimming of Leylandiii trees in the rear garden. We obtained a good quote for the work.Artemis attended prompty and work was done to our satisfacti... We were very happy with Artemis . The job involved trimming of Leylandiii trees in the rear garden. We obtained a good quote for the work.Artemis attended prompty and work was done to our satisfaction.Only issue was one of protecting our carpets, a wider covering would have been more Appropriate. We would recommend this company.

2 weeks ago

Anonymous

We've used Artemis before as was v happy with their service. Again, this 2nd job excellent service. Polite workers did the job in a clean and professional manner. Very happy thank you Artemis!... We've used Artemis before as was v happy with their service. Again, this 2nd job excellent service. Polite workers did the job in a clean and professional manner. Very happy thank you Artemis!

2 weeks ago

Anonymous

Excellent service friendly staff and very good work. Highly recommend...

3 weeks ago

Roger Jones

Excellent service from Artemis from the initial contact to the completion of the work, The two people who actual did the tree work were both excellent. They were extremely professional, courteous and ... Excellent service from Artemis from the initial contact to the completion of the work, The two people who actual did the tree work were both excellent. They were extremely professional, courteous and helpful, They did an outstanding job and left the site very clean and tidy. Would unreservedly recommend this company.

3 weeks ago

Anonymous

Excellent organisation, service and execution of the work. Friendly staff too - who left it all clean and tidy!...

3 weeks ago

Donald Mercado

Artemis we’re very good & professional at their job so pleased I had the job done Many thanks...

3 weeks ago

Anonymous

Brilliant service from guys who know their stuff. Everything cleaned up following a lot of hedge and tree crowning. Highly recommend this company....

1 month ago

Anonymous

We have used Artemis on a number of occasions and always found their service to be quick, friendly and efficient. All staff we have encountered from those in the administration office to those who ca... We have used Artemis on a number of occasions and always found their service to be quick, friendly and efficient. All staff we have encountered from those in the administration office to those who came to carry out the work have been professional and competent and we've never had any issue with any aspect of their service. Excellent company.

1 month ago

Anthony

A very efficient, courteous and accomodating couple of workers. We were pleased with the result...

1 month ago

Ann Nelmes

Did a great job and the tree looks so much better. nice polite workers. protected the neighbours shed well whilst working. a little greenery left behind which I needed to clear. before and after ph... Did a great job and the tree looks so much better. nice polite workers. protected the neighbours shed well whilst working. a little greenery left behind which I needed to clear. before and after photo attached.

1 month ago

Anonymous

Very good company. I had two dead cherry trees to take down. Clear well specified quotation, good communication with helpful office. Work done to a good quality by pleasant and well trained guys. W... Very good company. I had two dead cherry trees to take down. Clear well specified quotation, good communication with helpful office. Work done to a good quality by pleasant and well trained guys. Will use Artemis next time.

1 month ago

Annabel Radville

Phoned to say they would be early, did everything we wanted professionally, cleared everything away leaving the garden neat and tidy and were extremely pleasant and polite lads who knew what they were... Phoned to say they would be early, did everything we wanted professionally, cleared everything away leaving the garden neat and tidy and were extremely pleasant and polite lads who knew what they were talking about. Worth the money. We've used Artemis before and will use you again. Have recommended Artemis to others.

1 month ago

Neil - Chalfont St Giles

Excellent service in every respect, from first contact to payment of the invoice. We are delighted with the crown reduction on our cherry tree and will definitely use Artemis for any future tree work.... Excellent service in every respect, from first contact to payment of the invoice. We are delighted with the crown reduction on our cherry tree and will definitely use Artemis for any future tree work. Highly recommended.

2 months ago

Rob

Professional from to from start with constant communication and fast and friendly team who undertook the work leaving the garden spotless of any debris... Professional from to from start with constant communication and fast and friendly team who undertook the work leaving the garden spotless of any debris

2 months ago

Alan

We were very impressed not only with the overall experience of dealing with our request, but also with the two man crew who attended. They were both very courteous, worked hard and efficiently. They ... We were very impressed not only with the overall experience of dealing with our request, but also with the two man crew who attended. They were both very courteous, worked hard and efficiently. They also cleared everything away afterwards. We are very pleased with the result.

2 months ago

Anonymous

Fantastic friendly and professional team. Excellent value. High recommend....

2 months ago