I was hoping people could give me a bit of advice regarding trees and whether I should have one. I live in England (the east midlands) and have a standard tiny English garden approximately 17ft Long (5.2m) and 12ft (3.66m) Wide.
So far its being set up pretty much as a herb garden but towards the top of the garden I was thinking of having a cherry tree; there are two varieties I have in mind, the sweet 'Stella' or the sour 'Morello' both seem to have advantages; the Stella produces large crops of sweet cherries and has great flowers on it but seems to grow larger which would be a disadvantage in a garden of my size, the Morello is less prepossessing but i've always liked sour foods and it would be slightly smaller scale.
My issue then is whether a tree would be damaging to my garden in the long run; my garden is something of a suntrap which is one of its few advantages (it is west facing and seems to trap the sun most of the day) and i'm planting a fair crop of plants that enjoy the sun, i'm a little worried that any tree I plant will damage the herbs and flowers i've selected (a list is provided at the end) also i'm not sure where would be the best location for a tree, either towards the east or the west end of the garden, if it was a matter of maximising light? Are cherries a bad choice in this regard?
Plants already in the garden;
Redcurrant "Red Lake" (Ribes rubrum) - Self-fertile, full sun/moderate shade - Red Berries
Blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum) - Self-fertile, full sun - Black Berries
Blueberry "Pink Lemonade" (Vaccinium) - Self-fertile, full sun/moderate shade - Pink Berries
Thyme "Doone Valley" (Thymus) - Full sun - Lavender Pink/Red Flowers
Oregano/Wild Marjoram "Hot And Spicy" (Origanum vulgare) - Full sun/moderate shade - Purple Flowers
Angelica (Angelica Archangelica) - Full sun/moderate shade - Yellow Flowers
Welsh Onion (Allium Fistulosum) - Full sun/moderate shade - White Flowers
Mint "Swiss" (Mentha x piperita swiss) - Full sun/moderate shade - Violet Flowers
Applemint (Mentha suaveolens) - Full sun/moderate shade - White Flowers
English Lavender (Lavandula Vera) - Full sun - Lavender Flowers
Any help you can give me permy hivemind is much appreciated as it has been on numerous other occasions.
I'm in a similar situation so I chose the Northstar Pie Cherry. Naturally smaller tree at 10 feet, disease resistant, and supposedly a good producer. Wish I could speak more first-hand, but I just planted it a couple weeks ago so I'm going off my research.
Your list does have a lot of semi-shade tolerant plants but without knowing their exact placement I can only say that, in general, it's better to get afternoon shade than morning shade so a west placement could be better. I've grown oregano, thyme, mint, and lavender in part-shade with no issues. The lavender might have been happier with more light though.
Another thing to think about, morello cherries survive birds, sweet ones do not without netting. You can get some pretty small cherry trees now, small enough for pots so you should be able to find something to fit. it would only shade the garden in the evening if it's on the west side and cherries are quite open trees so it wouldn't be full shade.
One comment on your list. Angelica? that seems a bit out of place, it grows huge, over two meters tall and more than a meter across.
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
posted 3 weeks ago
My general experience with trees, is that they suck moisture and nutrients from the soil in a radius around the tree that is about equal to the height of the tree. That's not as much of an issue with perennial herbs as it is with annual vegetables, because the herbs seem more accustomed to hardscrabble competition.
Oh dear it sounds like the Angelica might have been a mistake then! It looked quite forlorn and I didn't have the heart to leave it, thought i'd give it a go so we'll see how triffidesque that gets.
Bushes are a really good idea, I have got one or two bushes forming a hedge but it is the eternal appeal of a tree; I get the feeling I may regret it but I think its something I have to try. The point about sour fruits is an interesting one, would that really put off many birds?
I did consider other trees like a hazelbert or a olive but they seem to be on the larger side.
M D, I would go with the sour cherry and plant it with the oregano directly under it and place the currants near it if that at all can work with your space. My oregano grows beautifully under my apple tree on the west edge of a full sized forest. Currants are banned where I live, but are reported to bear ok in partial shade. Might you have a picture to share, perhaps marked up with east/west orientation? That might jar a few additional thoughts.
Biochar maker/enthusiast whose mind wants to dance, but whose body is a really awkward white guy.
I grew morello successfully in the Midlands. Such a good variety. Could you consider putting up a fence and growing it as a cordon, saving a huge amount of space?
Uk here we grow us a good YouTube channel for gardening advice in the UK (obviously!)
To lead a tranquil life, mind your own business and work with your hands.
M D Scott
posted 1 week ago
Not wanting to necro this thread but just to thank everyone for the help; went with a morello in the end and it looks beautiful! Certainly taking the advice with Oregano and probably thyme along with chives though I thought oregano preferred full sun?
Don't destroy the earth! That's where I keep all my stuff! Including this tiny ad: