Gardening Tips > January > Why Choose a Specimen Plant?

Why Choose a Specimen Plant?

What is a specimen plant?
A large shrub or tree planted to make a focal point in a garden. Generally a specimen will be a large, semi mature tree or shrub that will really stand out in the garden.

Why buy a specimen plant?
If you want to create a mature looking garden quickly and have a healthy budget, specimen plants and trees will create an instant impact. Even just one can add interest and a feature to the garden.

How to choose the right specimen.
A specimen can be an expensive investment, so selecting the right tree or plant for your space is really important to ensure it will establish well and flourish in the garden. It is also good to consider what sort of impact you would like the tree to make.

At Perrywood there is always a plant area expert on hand to help you make the right choice. Here are a few examples of plants and trees we often stock.






Osmanthus Delavayi

Tree Fern

Trachelospermum jasminoides

Dicksonia Antarctica Tree Fern

Trachelospermum jasminoides – naturally climbs so can easily be shaped into an arch or across a trellis



Fruit Trees

Silver Birch

Amelanchier lamarckii


Liquid Ambar styraciflua

Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Lane Roberts’ – beautiful autumn colour

Malus domestica ‘Elstar’ – a tasty red dessert apple

Things to consider before making a purchase:

Access – most importantly, make sure there is good access. Will a large tree easily be delivered into your garden?

Size – make sure you choose a tree or shrub which has an ultimate height and spread suitable for the space. Even though the plant is semi-mature it will still most likely have a lot more growing to do, especially if it’s a tree. Keeping it pruned back is always an option but it will still grow over time. A tall birch will create a stunning impact if you have the space but equally,  a small weeping willow can also create a lovely focal point in a smaller garden.

Seasonal interest – think about what time of year you especially want your specimen looking good? Consider flowering time, foliage colour and presence, fruit and bark. If you only have room for one feature in the garden, look for a tree with multiple seasonal interest – for example a cherry tree with spring blossom, summer fruit, autumn leaf colour and interesting bark in the winter months.

How to plant you specimen tree

Prepare your site beforehand and get your specimen planted as soon after purchase as possible.

Follow our tree planting guide to make sure you give your specimen the best possible start in it’s new location!


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