KILDARE GARDENING COLUMN: Screening trees can be a super option

It was one of the days last week when I was just heading over to the office when I looked into the front garden and saw a view that stopped me in my tracks.

Ian had been out the day before and mowed the lawn, his new mower is his pride and joy and the neat stripes in the lawn it creates do a lovely job. For the two days after each week he keeps looking out and saying, “It does a great job of that lawn, doesn’t it”.

And yes it does, and yes I do agree with him. On this particular day though I looked at the neat, striped lawn and then box balls marking the corners, but what caught my eye was the change in the seasons, the grasses that overflow onto the path, the Japanese Forest Grass was turning to a lovely golden colour and the espaliered trees at the front,

Hornbeams were turning a lovely bronze colour, only at one end but it was marking the start of the new season.

I love the Espaliered trees as they create a beautiful screen, but I chose the deciduous option of Hornbeams as they still change with the season.

This leaves me a little more open in the winter, but I can live with that for the beautiful Autumn colour and fresh new growth in the spring.

I chose Espaliered trees for two reasons, the first being aesthetics, I love the lovely clean line they create and the formal but contemporary look, but also we have rooms at the front of the house that always felt a little ‘on view’.

In reality no-one could see in as the hedge was of a reasonable height, but headlights going along the country lane way in the evenings had their lights on full beam and as I could see them, it felt like they could see in.

Creating privacy with the use of a well placed tree or a row of specimen espaliered frames is what we do best.

We have so many options to block unsightly views or resolving privacy issues that we can supply, deliver and plant too should you need us to.

Mature trees, espalier trees and evergreen trees are all ideal for screening naturally. Well placed specimen trees can disguise an unsightly view or block a window in a neighbours house or even a security light that seems to go on at the worst possible time.

Position such trees well and they will make an ideal focal point, that they can be enjoyed now and for future generations, we can always assist you with the best options at the right size to give you the privacy and screening that you require.

Screening trees often have a clear stem to reach up to fence panel height of around 1.8-2m with a full head above.

This type of screening is particularly useful if you are overlooked by neighbouring properties, or would like to draw the eye towards a specific feature, or retain an attractive wall, or meet a hedge so as not to feel too enclosed.

We can also supply feathered trees that have full growth from the ground upwards and offer the same screening ability.

Generally, evergreens are preferred for this purpose and can be planted densely to achieve maximum effect, however, planting a selection of trees, if space allows, can provide rich contrast and seasonal interest.

Here is my top Top 10 screening trees

1. Magnolia grandiflora (Evergreen Magnolia)

2. Prunus laurocerasus (Cherry Laurel)

3. Quercus ilex (Evergreen Oak)

4. Taxus baccata (English Yew)

5. Thuja occidentalis (White Cedar)

6. Fagus sylvatica (Beech Green or Purple)

7. Carpinus betulus (Hornbeam)

8. Ilex Aquafolium (Holly)

9. Quercus robur Fastigiata (Upright Oak)

10. Eleagnus ebbegei

All of these trees you can see in more detail on my website and you will find smaller options in any good garden centre.

Next week we are back to all things design with some garden lighting.

We’ll also have more information on Nursery Park and how we are going to light that up with the nights drawing in.

Until then, happy gardening, Jo.

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