The Best Native Scottish Trees to Plant in Your Garden
Trees can elevate a garden from nice, to stunning. Not only can trees provide shade, they can also afford privacy to gardens that are otherwise overlooked by other properties. Although planting trees and waiting for them to grow may seem daunting and tedious, there are several native Scottish trees that are particularly fast growing and could add the finishing touches to your property’s garden.
Here we look at which Scottish native trees are the fastest growing and where you can get them.
Alder trees grow in a beautiful pyramid shape and grow natively in the highlands of Scotland. The leaves are a rounded shape with a dark green, glossy colour. In the springtime, Alders will produce yellow catkins (pendulous or oval-shaped used to pollinate the tree in the wind) and in the winter, woody fruits that look similar to pinecones. Alders are also known to improve soil fertility, helping the rest of your garden flourish.
Rowan is a fast-growing pioneer (or hardy species of) tree and is steeped in mythology. From Greek to Norse myths and fables, to the British Isles where it is said the tree wards against witchcraft and enchantment. This silver-barked tree produces stunning white blossoms and red or orange berries in the autumn; however, be warned as these vivid red berries are poisonous. This species of tree grows tall and thin, so is perfect for small or medium garden settings.
3- Weeping Willow
For those with a large garden or grounds attached to their property, this tree is perfect. Originally a species of willow native to dry areas of northern China, this tree has been cultivated for thousands of years elsewhere in Asia, being traded along the Silk Road to southwest Asia before finding its way to Europe where its popularity exploded. With its long silvery leaves and tendril-like branches, this tree creates beautiful, whimsical and dream-like shady spots and tends to grow between 1.2 and 2.4 metres per year! Plant a weeping willow near a water source for the best results.
4- Bird Cherry
The Bird Cherry tree grows natively in the Perthshire, Speyside and Borders areas of Scotland and can reach impressive heights of up to 15m metres. In the spring, nectar-loving animals are attracted to this tree for its almond-scented blossoms and is a valuable source of food for bees and various birds. These gorgeous, fragrant white blossoms sprouting from the tree in late May, is sure to make a beautiful springtime focal point for any garden.
5- Crab Apple
Crab apple trees are perfect to grow in small garden spaces, with their compact height and spread offering shade, while their leaves will inject colour into your garden all year round. In the spring, this tree produces plumes of blossoms, while from September the trees foliage provides rich autumnal colours. This native British tree prefers moist, well-drained soils and even flowers when young – blooming at two or three years old, making it a great choice if you want a tree that performs quickly. The blossoms of the Crab Apple Tree are valuable to woodland wildlife for pollination and the fruit can even be used to make jam. The Crab Apple tree occurs naturally in woodland areas in the lowlands of Scotland and makes a great addition to any garden.
There are independent nurseries that can provide trees up to 150-165cm tall and range from £20 – £50 depending on the type of tree.
It is always best to do research online to find a local nursery near you so that you can visit and inspect the plants yourself. Make sure to look for plants that are well looked after, have good drainage and access to the elements.
For further information on native trees visit www.woodlandtrust.org
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