The Earl of Courtown, an hereditary peer in the House of Lords, said television programmes, such as Ground Force, made people expect an “instant garden”.

“Landscape architects and garden designers specify these larger trees of all species because of the Instant Garden Syndrome, people want to have this immediate impact in their gardens and are not prepared buy whips that can grow and establish themselves more quickly than say a root balled specimen already 18ft high. Local Authorities are also guilty as is only too apparent when you look around a new housing estate and the size of the trees planted,” he said.

Chelsea Flower Show has also seen a resurgence in the fashion for large trees and shrubs in recent years, many imported from abroad.

“It is promoted by gardening programmes when you see the kind of gardens we used to see some years ago.”