Choosing the right Ornamental Tree

Ornamental trees are determined by their size, shape, scent, bark and leaf colour and seasonal changes. But how do you know which one is right for you and your garden? Thanks to our supplier Frank Matthews we have a great guide on choosing the perfect ornamental tree for your home and garden.

If you need any other advice in choosing an ornamental tree just pick up the phone and call our experts on 045879138 or email info@johnstowngardencentre.ie

Expand each bullet point to see which trees are suitable for each environment!

Clay soil is sticky and unworkable when it is wet and as hard as concrete when dry.

However, clay is often fertile and if properly worked can provide an excellent home.

Care should be given to providing good drainage.

Many plants are well adapted to dry, acid soil which is usually easy to work and has the advantage of being quick to warm up early in the year.

The fertility of acid soils can be improved with the addition of organic matter, so if you are starting a new garden in these conditions, select plants from the list below at the outset then include other trees after a few seasons of soil improvement.

Remember to water trees well and mulch heavily.


Trees in general require good drainage and locations where the soil is not waterlogged.

However there are some which are perfectly adapted to thriving in permanent dampness or even wetness.

Trees such as the Swamp Cypress (Taxodium districhum) can survive wet for many months.

However, trees without special adaptations to such environmental conditions might die within a few weeks if they are flooded during the growing season.

Many of us have become familiar with the idea of a wind chill factor.

This affects trees as much as it does us, so finding trees that can withstand icy blasts is important, not least because the soil in such spots is also often very cold or even frozen, leaving the tree to struggle for moisture from the ground as it loses extra moisture through its leaves.

Thankfully a good selection of evergreens and many deciduous trees come to our rescue.

As well as coping with more wind and higher average temperatures than those inland, seaside gardens need to cope with high salt content of the air and soil.

Plants with tough, waxy leaves and grey foliage often withstand seaside conditions well.

There are very few trees which will tolerate deep shade since their instincts are to grow up to the light.

However, since most gardens have shady spots the trees which will thrive there are especially valuable.

When planning a garden we often seek as much variety as possible.

So, whilst many trees are characterised by a form which has branches reaching upwards, it is pleasing to find others which depart from this to provide the contrast we need.

Comments 1

  1. Delaire

    Je crois que cela est essentiel pour les jardiniers amateurs. J’adore les plantes d’ext√©rieur et il est souvent difficile de choisir l’arbre ou les vivaces √† planter dans nos sols et surtout la situation.

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