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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Michelle Hyer

Excellent service, tidy, efficient, on-time and someone at the end of the phone for queries! I would highly recemmend x...

1 day ago

Barbara M Grant, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire

Artemis Tree Services Limited is a professional tree surgeon and is highly recommended. The marketplace is peppered with charlatans purporting to be qualified in this specialist area but Artemis con... Artemis Tree Services Limited is a professional tree surgeon and is highly recommended. The marketplace is peppered with charlatans purporting to be qualified in this specialist area but Artemis continues to uphold and deliver the professional status of this important skill. They offer a a high quality service from the very first contact through to delivery of a clean and crafted conclusion. I have no hesitation in recommending their outstanding service. Many thanks to all involved.

4 days ago

Blake Lewis

The contractors that came to prune my tree were very efficient, polite and effective and I would have no hesitation in recommending Artemis to anyone.... The contractors that came to prune my tree were very efficient, polite and effective and I would have no hesitation in recommending Artemis to anyone.

1 month ago

Jo

Just to say thank you for carrying out the work so professionally. The team were efficient, they took great care to ensure nothing got damaged, they were very friendly and informative and left the ar... Just to say thank you for carrying out the work so professionally. The team were efficient, they took great care to ensure nothing got damaged, they were very friendly and informative and left the area tidy. Work carried out: Removal of deadwood

2 months ago

Savas Sivetidis

Good service all round, polite and efficient....

3 months ago

Declan McManus

Efficient, tidy and courteous service - I have used Artemis on a number of occasions and cannot think of any reason to change....

4 months ago

Gaby

Excellent service with polite considerate operators...

4 months ago

Anonymous

very professional, knowledgeable company. where able to provide advice and options as to needed to be done. Clean, tidy and polite...

4 months ago

John

Very professional We have used them a few times and would not go anywhere else...

4 months ago

Francis Emmanuel

This was the second time we used the services of Artemis Tree Services. This time it was to fell and remove a mature sycamore. The team were excellent throughout - from initial enquiries, advice with ... This was the second time we used the services of Artemis Tree Services. This time it was to fell and remove a mature sycamore. The team were excellent throughout - from initial enquiries, advice with what was suitable, scheduling of the work, the tree work itself, the disposal of the felled tree and invoicing. Very pleasant, smart, tidy and courteous.

4 months ago

Pools Sritharan

Excellent service from the initial contact to completion. Professional ans polite at all times. Many thanks for this wonderful experience. Regards Pools Sritharan 18, The Avenue, Potters Bar.... Excellent service from the initial contact to completion. Professional ans polite at all times. Many thanks for this wonderful experience. Regards Pools Sritharan 18, The Avenue, Potters Bar.

5 months ago

Wendy Fry

Very pleased with work done to prune large sycamore tree. Detailed quote provided same day as Billy came to inspect and advise. All work was done promptly, safely with no mess whatsoever. Would defini... Very pleased with work done to prune large sycamore tree. Detailed quote provided same day as Billy came to inspect and advise. All work was done promptly, safely with no mess whatsoever. Would definitely recommend this firm. Very professional from start to finish.

5 months ago

Chris Pooley

If you require any tree work done I can certainly recommend Artemis. The estimator Billy was great to deal with professional and gave great advice. We required a Laurel and Holly tree to be reduced i... If you require any tree work done I can certainly recommend Artemis. The estimator Billy was great to deal with professional and gave great advice. We required a Laurel and Holly tree to be reduced in height and shaped and several leylandia trees at the back of the garden to be reduced in height and tidied up.A detailed quote was provided within 24 hours. On the day of the scheduled work the crew arrived on time and Tom and Charlie did a fantastic job very courteous and making sure everything was left nice and tidy. I would have no hesitation in contacting them for any future work required this is an extremely well run business.

5 months ago

Wendy Farrell

Great service from the get go. Surveyor was brilliant and took his time advising me on the best value for money for the job. The two guys in the day were fab! Not a leaf was left for me to tidy up. K... Great service from the get go. Surveyor was brilliant and took his time advising me on the best value for money for the job. The two guys in the day were fab! Not a leaf was left for me to tidy up. Kirstie Harvey in the office is a legend! Cannot recommend this company highly enough.

6 months ago

Kirk Teasdale

Delighted with the work carried out by what I can only describe as absolute gentlemen. They were prompt, courteous and considerate through out. Would definitely recommend.... Delighted with the work carried out by what I can only describe as absolute gentlemen. They were prompt, courteous and considerate through out. Would definitely recommend.

6 months ago

Mark Stafford

As a retired arborist myself I cannot give this company higher praise. Reasonable quote for the work and their climber was very proffessional and worked in a safe manner. Site was spotless when they l... As a retired arborist myself I cannot give this company higher praise. Reasonable quote for the work and their climber was very proffessional and worked in a safe manner. Site was spotless when they left. All in all a very pleasant experience.

6 months ago

Anonymous

Everything was great from start to finish I highly recommend Artemis. From the initial quotation to the reminders and then the text on the day to say they were on their way everything was perfect. T... Everything was great from start to finish I highly recommend Artemis. From the initial quotation to the reminders and then the text on the day to say they were on their way everything was perfect. The chaps onsite were great, very polite and incredibly tidy. I am very happy with the standard of work and would definitely recommend.

7 months ago

Nick Woolford

From the initial contact through to the finished work, everything has gone smoothly and professionally. The estimator came when he said he would, gave us meaningful and thoughtful suggestions. His d... From the initial contact through to the finished work, everything has gone smoothly and professionally. The estimator came when he said he would, gave us meaningful and thoughtful suggestions. His detailed estimate was produced within hours of his visit. Once we had accepted the estimate we received planned date for the work. On the day the workmen arrived when we were told they would. They were extremely co-operative, helpful and informative. The work procedure without a hitch with everything being competed to a high standard, and all the refuse removed, leaving the garden neat and tidy. We will have Artemis back later in the year to prune the fruit trees.

7 months ago

Anonymous

A fantastic service, at good reasonable prices with total clearace of the site upon completion. Couldn't ask for more....

8 months ago

Anonymous

Just had a tree removed in Ruislip Manor, the guys were done and dusted in just over an hour, I was expecting a mess that I'd have to clean up once they left. The guys ensured everything was spo... Just had a tree removed in Ruislip Manor, the guys were done and dusted in just over an hour, I was expecting a mess that I'd have to clean up once they left. The guys ensured everything was spotless when they left. We're all happy, but my Cat missing the tree!

8 months ago

Asarthan

Great job start to finish. All contact smooth and easy. The team listened to everything we wanted and pulled it off to perfection. Very neat and tidy too! Thank you very much!... Great job start to finish. All contact smooth and easy. The team listened to everything we wanted and pulled it off to perfection. Very neat and tidy too! Thank you very much!

8 months ago