Deciduous trees

In autumn these trees lose their leaves, which often take on spectacular fiery hues before they fall, then sprout new ones in spring. Deciduous trees are a valuable permanent feature in a garden, and mark the changing seasons with flowers, fruits, new foliage, autumn colour or bare branches. By dropping their leaves in winter, they often reveal attractive bark and a bold branch structure, as well as letting in valuable additional light to a garden, enabling many early spring-flowering plants to thrive beneath them.


Deciduous trees come in all sizes, from towering oaks to tiny Japanese maples. They often produce a vibrant display of autumn foliage, The bare branches over winter provide interesting structure.
New fresh leaves are produced every spring clothing the tree once again in green. Many trees produce attractive flowers, followed by ornamental or edible fruits.


Deciduous trees usually prefer fertile, well-drained soil. If your soil is wet for long periods or quickly becomes dry, take care to choose a suitable species. Trees like to be planted so that the surface of the soil is just above the point where the roots first emerge from the trunk. If planted too deeply they can fail to establish.


There are trees for all situations, but many will struggle in poor soils or windy sites. Don’t let newly planted trees dry out – water them regularly for the first few years. Most trees don’t like to be moved once established, so choose your planting spot carefully and make sure there is enough space for its eventual size.

Did you know?

Fallen autumn leaves can turned into leafmould, which is an excellent mulch or soil conditioner. So don’t waste your fallen leaves – see our easy guide to making leafmould.

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