Red Robin Hedging container grown hedging perfect for Spring planting


If you're looking for a way to add some greenery or privacy to your small garden, pleached trees may be the perfect solution. Pleached trees are trees that have been trimmed and have stems that are trained to grow in a particular shape. These attractive trees can be used to create an archway, to provide screening, create privacy or simply to add some extra shade.

Pleached trees are a popular type of tree in the UK and a great option for small and formal gardens because they don't take up very much space. In addition, they require very little maintenance and pruning, since they will only need to be trimmed once or twice a year.


Popular species of Pleached Trees

Choose from our large selection of UK pleached tree species, we have a wide range in stock and available for fast delivery.

How to use pleached trees in a small garden

The beauty of pleached trees is that they create stunning visual effects without taking up a lot of space on the ground. Ideal then for a small garden or for a formal garden where they can be used to create structure and to direct the eye.

Pleached trees have been used by garden designers for at least four centuries. It’s not unusual to see an avenue of pleached trees in the grounds of a stately home.

I’m very pleased to report that the 21st century is seeing a revival of these amazing trees, not least because they fit will with the clean lines of contemporary garden design.

And of course, their slimline crowns and subsequently smaller root runs are the perfect way to bring carbon busting trees into today’s smaller gardens.

You can use these trees with trained branches to increase the height of your fences thus improving security and creating a far more private space. It’s no coincidence that twenty first century pleached trees have a stem height of 180cm – which is the height of a standard fence panel.

pleached trees planted in a small garden

Use them too to create tree lined walkways or to divide a larger garden into smaller “rooms”. The high crown means that your beautiful trees can be underplanted with tightly trimmed shrubs, with wildflowers or with formal borders.

The Eden Project in Cornwall has created an eye catching path by establishing white flowered globe alliums beneath pleached hornbeam trees.

What types of pleached trees are best for small gardens

In the broadest sense, pleached trees fall into two categories. Evergreen and deciduous.

Evergreen Pleached Trees

Evergreen pleached trees are perfect for small gardens because they don't take up much space, and they require very little maintenance. In addition, they provide year round greenery with glossy green leaves, which can be a welcome sight in the winter months.

Pleached evergreens are fabulous architectural plants, classic species include Pleached Cherry Laurel and Pleached Photinia Red Robin and Pleached Holm Oak.

Pleached Cherry Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus Novita)
Pleached Cherry Laurel Trees provide a very robust plant with big glossy leaves commonly used as a hedging plant as they have a dense growth habit. Relatively easy to train and trim but may need more than one cut a year.

Pleached Photinia (Photinia x fraseri)
Photinia Red Robin Pleached Trees can only be described as a “good doer”. Beautiful tree with cheerful red foliage to bring a splash of colour to the garden. It tones well with cedar fencing and creates a warmth and vibrancy.

Pleached Holm Oak
Pleached Holm Oak Trees, also known as Quercus ilex, are an evergreen species of tree. Pleached Holm Oak Trees are often used in formal gardens and landscapes as they offer both beauty and practicality.

Deciduous Pleached Trees

Deciduous pleached trees are also a great option for small gardens, but they have the added benefit of providing shade in the summer months.

The classic deciduous pleached tree is of course the lime, but excellent substitutes include our very own native Pleached Hornbeam and Pleached Liquid Ambar.

Pleached Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus)
Native to the UK, pleached hornbeam trees are frost hardy and visually similar to green beech. Tolerates clipping very well and casts a gentle, dappled shade in summer months.

Pleached Liquid Ambar (Liquidambar styraciflua)
Pleached Liquidambar Sweet Gum Trees are a popular choice for screening and creating architectural interest in the garden. Featuring bright green foliage that turns to shades of yellow, orange, and red in the autumn. 

How to choose the right pleached tree for your small garden

When it comes to choosing pleached trees for a small garden, there are several factors that should be considered. First and foremost, the size of the tree should be taken into account. Pleached trees tend to come pruned in different heights and widths, so it’s important to make sure that the pleached tree you choose is appropriate for your garden and your walls.

Second, the pleaching style should be considered. Pleaching can take many different forms, from pleached trees with a single arch to pleached trees with multiple pleaches in an “X” formation. Different pleaching styles require different amounts of trimming and training, so it’s important to make sure that you select a pleaching style that is suitable for your garden.

Finally, it’s important to choose pleached trees that are appropriate for the climate in which they will be planted. Different pleached trees require different amounts of sunlight and water, so it’s important to make sure that you select the best trees that are suited to the environment in which they will be planted.


Need help deciding which Pleached Trees to plant?

If you have any questions about choosing or planting pleached trees, please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Hedging Plants Direct.

We are horticulturists with a wealth of experience of growing, training, pruning and establishing trees. We’re here to advise you on which pleached tree species will look the best, perform the best and fit in best with your small garden and lifestyle.

Check our range of pleached trees for sale online or contact our team for advice

  Published on 12 December 2022 By Will Bodsworth

About Will Bodsworth

Proud grower of high quality Hedging, Trees and Shrubs at Hedging Plants Direct


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