As well as being beautiful trees store carbon, improve air quality and provide habitats for wildlife so its no wonder their popularity is soaring. If space is limited in your garden, but you still want to do your bit for the environment simply grow a small tree in a generously proportioned container. You can even put one on a balcony garden!


How to care for your container trees

Containerised trees are totally reliant upon you for nutrients and water, so neglect them and your investment could be lost. As general rules, feed your containerised plant during the growing season and water it regularly, even if it’s been raining, as the canopy will act like an umbrella shielding the compost inside from rainwater. Remove the loose, dry topsoil and replace with fresh, new compost once a year.

Best container trees

1. Holly tree (Ilex aquifolium)

Berries are formed on female holly plants when there’s a male plant in close proximity. Don’t be fooled by some of the confusing names. Bizarrely, Golden King (above right) is female and Golden Queen is male.
From £28.39,

2. Cordon fruit trees

Space-saving columnar fruit trees allow gardeners the luxury of growing a mixed mini orchard in a relatively small area. Cordons should have their ultimate height restricted to 2-2.5m (6-8ft) and their fruiting laterals pruned during the summer months to retain their shape.
From £24.95,

3. Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) ‘Wilson’s Pink Dwarf’

Deciduous maples have an endearing habit of changing the colour of their foliage. This stunning variety produces bright pink foliage in spring, maturing to fresh green in summer before giving a glorious autumnal display of reds, oranges and yellows. £34.99,

4. Standard flowering trees

Flowering, lollipop-shaped trees in pots provide bursts of colour, scent and form in summer. Extend their season of interest by underplanting with bedding plants. Standard Mimosa, £34.97 (above),; Pink Standard Lilac, £24.99 (below),

5. Bay tree (Laurus nobilis)

A robust evergreen that will grow in a container. Frame a doorway with a pair or use one as a focal point in your garden. You can even use cuttings to enhance your culinary dishes. From £29.99,

6. Crab apple trees


For spring blossom and vibrantly coloured berries, a crab apple tree gives a good performance across the seasons. Pick one of the shorter varieties that grows to no more than 3.5m (12ft) when mature and plant it in a large container. From £23.69,


Louise Midgley is a gardener and garden writer