If you'd like a little something different in your landscaping, ornamental tree pruning may be right for you. Plenty of flowering, ornamental, or even fruit trees can often be trained or trimmed into hedges or other decorative shapes. Here are some types of trees that lend themselves well to different types of training and trimming.
1. Fruit trees for espalier
An espaliered tree is basically one that's trained to grow in geometric patterns in a flat shape, such as when you train a tree into a lattice shape up a fence or wall. You train the tree by choosing branches to bend into the desired shape as they grow and trimming off any excess branches to maintain an open, flat shape.
For beginners, apple trees are probably the best choice for an espalier. Their new twigs are easily trained since they're pliable so you can bend them to grow in the direction you want. Some other fruit trees, such as pear and peach trees, can also be trained in this manner.
2. Fast-growing trees for hedge
While not as complicated and quirky as full-on topiary, a nice hedge can still provide a high-class accent to your landscape or a helpful privacy feature. If you'd like a thick, well-groomed hedge, you can either choose a landscape bush or choose a fast-growing tree and just keep it cut down to hedge size.
Some great types of trees for hedges include English Laurel, Flame Amur Maple, and Virescens Western Red Cedar. Be sure to choose an evergreen tree such as cedar if you want year-round privacy from your hedge.
3. Small-leaved for topiary
Growing a bush in your front yard, then shaping it into an elephant, may be one of your life goals. If that's the case, you'll need to plant plenty of topiary-compatible trees to practice on. Trees that grow quickly can provide good topiary practice, and those that have small, dense leaves allow for more detailed topiary work than those with a more open growth habit.
Some varieties of trees that are often used for topiary include bay laurel, holly, yew, and similar species. Choosing an evergreen tree ensures that your topiary art will be at its best throughout the year, rather than losing its leaves in the winter.
These are just some of the types of trees and fun, eye-catching shapes you can prune them into. If you'd like a professional to shape your trees into these forms or to keep them trimmed in the right shape once you've got them how you want them, call your local tree pruning service today.