Tall Ornamental Trees In Landscape Design

Tall trees are not just the most important structuring and protective elements of site design. Not for nothing designers often call them the "crown of the garden": they create the basis, the basis of design, style and concept, are responsible for the harmony and attractiveness of any site for decades. And the most important role is played not by fruit trees, but by their ornamental counterparts. Near the house or on the far edge of the plot, proudly alone or with an entourage in a flower bed, large ornamental trees invariably remain the most spectacular and important elements of landscaping.

Tall ornamental trees in landscape design
Large trees in the garden can become generic and enjoy several generations

The simple role of the head of the garden kingdom

Large trees are always in the spotlight. And not only in the direct sense: they dominate the whole landscape, dictate the main focal points and arrange the space, determine and underline its arrangement, being in fact a design element as imposing and unique as large architectural elements.

A garden without trees is not just boring. It is lifeless, seems flat, banal and unexpressive plain. And at least one large tree should be on even the smallest plot. After all, without this counterbalance to the house, you can not create a harmonious project, no matter how pretentious the design was.

Trees like this are often called family trees not by chance: it is the most reliable and most durable element of landscaping, the most important and the most significant, determining the comfort and convenience, a sense of security and isolation of the garden. And every year the value of a large tree, its role and importance grows. After all, flowerbeds and colors can change around, and even the garden can be transformed beyond recognition in style, but the main tree on the site will still perfectly perform its functions.

Tall ornamental trees in landscape design
Big trees can have different functions

The big tree in the garden plays a role:

  • the main focal point;
  • the balancing building element;
  • the highest vertical accent;
  • the source of bountiful shade for the recreation area;
  • the setting style of the garden central element;
  • the reference point in placing functional and decorative objects, choosing the structure and forms of compositions;
  • main means of emphasizing three-dimensionality of landscape;
  • source of special atmosphere of comfort, safety, fullness;
  • main color accent (usually with the "aim" of seasonality - spring flowering, mottled crown in summer or autumn dressing), etc.

The functional purpose of giants on the site does not detract from the possibilities of their use in the design. Such a tree does not have to be planted proudly alone on an empty site.

High-growth decorative tree can be used to shade a corner for rest, decorate a large lawn, placement as a central structuring element. And you can even planted in front of the house or porch as an accent (in reasonable proximity - without reducing the distance to less than half the diameter of the crown), hidden in a hedge and even a flower bed.

High-growth "- and its own for each garden. Trees are considered large if their height is close to the house, commensurate with the size of the plot as a whole. For a small garden is considered high, even a three-meter tree. For a large plot you can afford the true giants, reaching 20-30 meters in height, and even create alleys with them.

Big trees are often called boring, "standard" elements of landscape design. But such an opinion about the most giant group of garden plants is not only wrong, but almost criminal: In order to fall in love with ornamental trees of "maxi" size it's enough to watch them at least one season.

The gentle wave of foam-like flowering, followed by a scattering of fruits and shining leaves, then giving in to the baton to the fiery autumn attire is a sight typical for even the most modest of garden giants. And for some, it turns simple trees into the main decoration of the garden. White currant with its mottled attire, a touching weeping birch, maples with bronze summer coloring and carmine autumn leaves, as well as many of their Maxi-sized fellows, will make you quickly forget about the standards.

Tall ornamental trees in landscape design
The tall tree you choose must like you

Rules for choosing tall trees for a plot

Selecting a large tree is largely a matter of taste. First and foremost, remember that tall trees, much less giants, are brought into the garden for decades, sometimes centuries. And they need to be close to your heart. Everything about them - from the shape of the crown to the leaves and bark - should please you. But there are also quite objective rules for choosing giants.

Tall ornamental trees in landscape design
European beech, or forest beech (Fagus sylvatica). © Serena

The main reference points when searching for your ideal large tree should be:

  • its functional purpose;
  • style of the house and other buildings on the site;
  • the area that a large tree can take (after reaching its maximum size).

About the desired crown shape is most often a subordinate criteria. It is chosen not only by taste, but also taking into account the area of the plot. For a small garden it is advisable to choose large trees with rounded, globular crowns or vertically elongated abrasions, for large ones you can afford any power and spreading.

But everything is relative: weeping trees are good in any circumstances. And umbrella-shaped, tent-like giants can fit well in different gardens if they are combined with buildings, compact new varieties are chosen or trees are subjected to pruning and shaping.

For large areas, maples, rowan trees, lindens can well be replaced by oak, ash, beech. For gardens of a much more modest area, ornamental cherry and apple trees, sharp-leaved maples, plum trees, false acacia robinia, whole-leaved, goat and white willows, round-leaved and common mountain ash, sycamore birch, cobus magnolia, bignoniform catalpa are a much more rational choice.

To those who want to create a garden in a very modest area will help woody in tubs - privet, holly on the stem, lanewood maple, magnolias and exotics, which will have to be carried indoors for the winter, will allow to introduce a large tree even on the mini-parts near city houses.

Selecting a plant for your garden, you must necessarily consider not only decorative, but also winter-hardiness. Catalpa, for example, is mainly suitable for the southern regions, while maples and apple trees will withstand even the most severe winter.

Tall ornamental trees in landscape design
Selecting a tree for the garden, focus on its winter-hardiness. For example, Paulownia tomentosa is not suitable for regions with harsh winters. © paulowniatree

6 favorites among high-growing trees

All-time favorites platanoid maples or cautious (acer platanoides), as well as their fellows among ornamental maples, occupy a special place in the heart of any landscape designer for a reason. After all, among them there are humble trees up to 2.5 meters in height, and giants in height and diameter up to 6 meters (for example, the legendary variety of "Globosum"). The impressive change of color from season to season is none more important than the beauty of the leaves, the density of the curly crown and the extraordinary picturesqueness that makes each maple a real star of any landscape.

Tall ornamental trees in landscape design
The Sharp-leaved Maple, or the Sycamore Maple (Acer platanoides). © laurries

small saw-toothed plum (prunus serrulata) - a tree, though reaching at a respectable age the height of ten meters, but also changing the dull form of the crown to elegant cascades. The matter is that the older is the plum tree, the more its branches hang down, creating picturesque "fountains".

Lover of sunny squares fully justifies the title of fairy-tale tree in spring. After all, you can admire the miracle of the flowering fine-sprinkled plum in early May endlessly. Small pink flowers thickly lace the spreading branches, and the whole tree becomes a magical vision.

Tall ornamental trees in landscape design
Fine serrated cherry (Prunus serrulata). © Brandon Debes

Limes (tilia) are the classic woody that are often chosen to be the family keeper. Yes, and it is the lime trees that make the most spectacular avenues. Slender and elongated, these thirty-meter beauties bloom very late, only in midsummer. But the cheerful color of the leaves, the dense crown, the unusual aroma and cozy noise that the lime tree brings to the site, fully compensate for the short blooming period. These woody plants are excellent for alleys on large plots, but in gardens of modest size they will also be appropriate provided they are planted proudly alone.

Tall ornamental trees in landscape design
Linden heart-shaped (Tilia cordata). © Stefano Zerauschek

Makes you forget about the status of "boring classics" and betula pendula (betula pendula). This plant is constantly in motion thanks to the long and thin twigs, which hang down almost to the ground. In height the beauty will not exceed 6-8 meters, but always seems graceful, almost weightless and unusually elegant. It adds romantic charm and poetry to gardens, fits perfectly into complex decorative plantings.

Tall ornamental trees in landscape design
Birch weeping (betula pendula). © austinbotany

The silvery, unusual corbus roundleaf (sorbus aria) always seems especially spectacular. The bluish tint of leaves, dark above and whitish below, the maximum height of 15 m and slow growth make it stand out against the background of other rowan trees. As well as the orange, eye-catching color of the fruits, and the thicker crown.

In regions with mild winters another favorite - beech European, or forest (fagus sylvatica), especially its red- and dark-leaved drooping varieties such as "Purpurea Pendula". This giant, limited to 5 meters in height, makes an impression at first sight. The splendor of regal beauty, the seemingly black foliage, and the cascades of slender branches captivate with modern boldness and extraordinary picturesqueness.

But those who live in the south, there is something to admire in addition to the beech: and uniquely graceful beautiful flowering paulownia tomentosa (paulownia tomentosa), and magnolias of all varieties, and citrus and olive trees - there is plenty to choose from.

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