There are trees that grow comparatively slowly, and never make large specimens, and there are trees that grow so rapidly that after ten years they are almost giants. Some cypress trees, for instance, will attain 30 ft. in about ten or twelve years. On the other hand there are cypress and pine trees, intentionally dwarfed by the cultivators, as much as a hundred years old, and still not too large to be used as indoor decorations. Between these two extremes is an enormous variation in rate of growth, and it should be possible for the garden maker to find the type that will suit his particular purpose.
It is easy enough in some cases to plant both slow growers and those which run up rapidly. When the quick growers have reached the stage of becoming a nuisance on account of size, the slow growers may be ready to take their place. But though this arrangement is possible in a large garden, the small garden cannot usually accommodate many trees without crowding, and crowding almost invariably means a loss of natural symmetry. .
On the other hand, crowding may at times be deliberate, in order to attain a definite habit of growth. This is often done when large estates of park land are being developed, and a group of trees is planted where perhaps only one mature specimen will be wanted. The reason is that the slight crowding induces the trees to run up tall, with a length of bare or branchless stem near the ground. As the years pass, the unwanted specimens are removed, leaving the most suitable tree to attain maturity.
These remarks perhaps indicate to the novice what a big subject tree selection can be, and how much there is to consider, even in planting a single specimen. You will probably do best to make your choice first, and then, before actually ordering the trees, discuss your plans with a tree and shrub specialist. Any reliable nurseryman will give sound advice.
If you order trees from a distance, tell the grower what kind of soil you have, whether there is any special difficulty, and whether the trees are to be in any particular aspect, facing the sea, for instance, or on a dry stony bank, or by the waterside. You will always find that it pays to take the grower into your confidence, for he will be able to guide you round many unforeseen obstacles.