The Best Tree Shapes For Your Garden

The Best Tree Shapes For Your Garden

Choosing the right trees for your garden is a decision that will be with you as long as your house is, so it’s something that requires careful thought and planning. With thousands of tree species around, the beauty of making a brand new garden means you’re able to select those trees and shapes that will best suit your home.

Most trees can be divided into their shapes, and whether you achieve this with natural growth or keep them manicured, they’ll undoubtedly have some effect on how your garden looks. Just as you would plan the interior of your home to find shapes and colors that best suit the overall design, so too do you need to put this type of planning into choosing the trees in your garden.

We’re here to take look at the most common shapes of trees and which ones would suit your garden so that you can get the level of maintenance and aesthetic you hope for and choose trees that you’ll be happy with for years to come.

Columnar Tree Shape

These are very common styles of tree and can be easily identified by their long, tall shapes.

Columnar trees include popular varieties like Italian Cypress and the Pyramid Oak with their upright branches. 

A columnar tree might not necessarily be narrow in shape, but the branches will always grow vertically and give off an overall rectangular shape.

They’re ideal for gardens that are short on ground space as they can achieve quite a lot with their height.

Columnar tree shape.

Fastigiate Tree Shapes

Fastigiate tree shape.

Similar to the columnar tree shape but with more of a narrow look, the fastigiate shape of tree is known for its erect branches.

The branches of a fastigiate tree are tall and upright and include such popular varieties as the Betula Pendula Fastigiata whose branches intertwine with each other as they grow upright.

If you’re low on ground space but still want to make a statement in your garden then these are ideal, however, in terms of shade, they might not give as much as the wider varieties.

Irregular Or Spreading Tree Shapes

These trees can’t really be defined into any of the other categories but the easiest way to spot them in is their branches which grow wildly and freely without any defined shape.

Anyone with a spreading tree should take care to maintain its branches regularly with a pole saw as otherwise, they can grow too wildly.

These popular trees suit gardens with a little more room to grow but they’re usually spectacular to look at and include common types of cherry trees and gingkos.

Irregular tree shape.

Round And Oval Tree Shapes

A round or oval tree shape is the perfect choice for a garden that requires shade, as the branches spread out and create dense foliage. It’s imperative to keep these maintained and the branches trimmed so that they don’t overgrow, and even when manicured they will provide a lot of shade for your garden.

Round tree shape.

Round shape trees and oval trees have a strong trunk that makes a great centerpiece for any garden and they’re best suited for homes with a lot of space. Common varieties of round trees include sugar maple and white ash which make a great center point in a garden.

Pyramidal Shape Trees

Pyramidal tree shape.

The pyramid shape trees look somewhat like a cone and have a very narrow tip with a body that gets wider the further down it grows.

The most common type of pyramidal shaped trees is the fir, and other conifers and deciduous trees have the classic shape as well.

The best type of property to grow a pyramidal shape tree is a large one, as they have a tendency to get quite big, so be sure you have the space to allow them room to be.

Vase Shape Trees

These gorgeously shaped trees are just as the name suggests, with a narrow bottom where the trunk sits and then branches and leaves which spread out dramatically at the top.

Vase tree shape.

These trees look graceful in appearance and they’re perfect for front yards, however, they will require regular pruning with something that allows you to get up high. Vase-shaped trees like the crape myrtle are fantastic at providing shade as well as volume, and because they have smaller trunks they won’t take up room on the ground level.

Weeping Shape Trees

The most common types of weeping shape trees will be easily identified thanks to the ‘weeping’ in their name, such as weeping willows and weeping cherry trees. Weeping shape trees have long and hanging branches that make them the perfect accent tree.

Because the branches of a weeping tree can grow quite wildly, they need to be regularly pruned and should not be planted near a sidewalk unless you’re able to commit to pruning.

Weeping tree shape.

The Best Tree For Your Garden Size

When planning your garden, choosing trees is even more important than any other design process. Not only do you need to find the tree shapes that will suit the look you’re after and the design of your garden, but you have to consider the ongoing maintenance and pruning as well. Most trees can be cared for with a simple pair of pruners and a pole saw that allows you to get up high, provided you have the time to commit.

Trees have the potential to last for centuries when cared for correctly, and they’ll even outlive the very home they’re planted near on some occasions.

For this reason, choosing the right one with space to grow is important. Homes with less space should opt for a column, fastigiate or vase shape as they require little room on the ground. However, those with plenty of room will have more room to grow and explore their shapes, so the options really are limitless. 

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