Standard trees covers such a multitude of options that they are anything but standard. The terms standard refers to the shape and height at which they break or the foliage starts and a standard tree is between 1.8metres and 2metres of clear stem before the start of the foliage.
For clarity the term three-quarter standard has a stem of 1.4 to 1.6metres before foliage starts and a half standard 90cm to 1.2metres but for now we are looking at the full standard trees.
On the continent, especially France, Holland and Germany they like all their trees, even the deciduous street trees to all have the uniformity of a standard tree and they would tend to graft an awful lot of ornamental trees to look this way, whereas in Ireland and the UK we tend to be a little more natural with our tree shapes but the standard tree is getting more and more popular so we do have a very wide selection.
Firstly we have a wide and varied range in evergreen plant material, from evergreen oaks, Photinia Red Robin, Hollies, laurels, Evergreen Magnolia and Bay just to name a handful. These trees are used as architectural features and more so as screening and privacy option for gardens. They block views and create privacy just in their strategic placing but can create a beautiful vista to draw the eye and create the illusion of a larger garden or take the view down to specific areas of the garden. They all have the standard height of 180 -200cm stem but apart from that they are very different in their head sizes and styles, some creating cylinders, other more balls and some more of an upright shape of foliage and lots of options in sizes
We then have a wide variety of deciduous trees, we would design with these for more architectural features as well as the similar design hacks that we use above, creating the illusion of a larger space and taking the viewer in a certain way around the garden. Deciduous options will tend to have ultimately larger heads and be less expensive options for the size of them and there are some really beautiful options that change with the season and give you more interest throughout the year albeit they are bare in the Winter so not as great an option if you are filtering light coming into your garden, maybe a security light from a neighbours garden, when you need the cover in the winter you won’t have the foliage to do that.
Some of my favourite deciduous standard trees are Acer Globosum, Liquidamber gumball, White Mulberry and Catalpa Biganoides.
We then have flowering options to give your garden a colour boost at certain times of year, Magnolias, Camelias, Viburnums, Photinia Red Robins and much more