Do Numbers Really Matter ?

When it comes to planting trees and shrubs, there is a tendency for a couple of things to happen.

Firstly, with such a huge choice of plant species available to buy, there is often a tendency for people to buy plants without truly knowing either what they are, or what their cultural needs are.

Secondly therefore, because of the desire to see a filled space, most people tend to plant too many individuals without taking into account the potential size of each plant. This looks fine for two or three years, but often this leaves growing plants much too close together with the resulting loss of form and habit.

I have seen examples of that kind of approach on professionally produced plans, where a Landscape Architect has put 65 plants of one species in a block planting where 3 would have filled it in 3 years. OK, it would look alright for 2 years, but after that it would become a very unattractive jungle where many weaker individuals will start to die off. They would then be so close together that it wouldn’t possible to control weed growth effectively – altogether an unsatisfactory result which, rather than being an attractive eye-catching display, would end up being an eyesore instead, and an expensive waste of money.