Planting a tree in a small garden

Facts to consider for planting a tree in a small garden

  1. Where is the garden? Suburb, street name? Relevant for climatic conditions and micro-climate.
  2. How big is the space that the tree can grow into? ?m x ?m Relevant for longevity of tree – if you plant something that gets too large, it will inevitably be removed before it fulfils its rightful lifespan.
  3. Where is the tree going to be in relationship to the house or windows – e.g. is it north, south, east or west of house? Relevant for shade implications – evergreen or deciduous.
  4. What type of soil do you have in your garden? Relevant for some trees although most will benefit from incorporating large amounts of compost into the tree hole when planting, whatever the soil type.
  5. Do you want a tree with special features? Flowering? Fruiting? Wildlife/bird attractor? Maybe all of these, but some people actually prefer not to have the mess of fruit or bird poop, etc.
  6. How fast growing versus long lived, do you want the tree to be? Important if you want some instant gratification or resale of home or are thinking more about the next generation.
  7. Do you have non-potable water available to water the newly planted tree until it is established and its root zone is able to access the water table? ‘Waterwise’ or not?
  8. Are there any underground or overhead cables in the vicinity of the proposed tree? If so, how close are they going to be to the root zone or canopy of the tree?

Should you wish to receive suggestions as to what tree to plant, please send a picture of its proposed site to Clare Burgess, email

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