Best Dwarf Trees For Small Space Landscaping
- Best Dwarf Trees for Small Space Landscaping
Think trees have to grow as big and tall as those 200-foot-tall redwoods?
Think again! Tons of flowery, fruity and leafy trees can add beauty to any landscape, no matter the size. And were not just talking about those petite bonsai trees either.
Read on for the top 12 trees fit for small spaces.
Small Trees For Backyard
Small trees for a small backyard will provide privacy and shade
When choosing suitable sizes of trees for a small backyard, it is important to think about maintenance too. Low-maintenance small trees such as Japanese maples, crape myrtle trees, miniature magnolias, and dwarf junipers are excellent choices.
Some types of fir trees are excellent to use a privacy hedge in a small garden. They dont require much maintenance and their foliage is soft and dense.
Organize A Small Space With Tall Airy Trees
When we enter a space, particularly a small or intimate space, we tend to look first horizontally, then vertically. Instinctively, we checkif only for an instantto make sure we arent going to trip or misstep on something. This means it is important to keep a small space organized and not let things get too jumbled on the ground or across the field of vision.
One solution is to plant trees with an open habit: those that allow the viewer to see them and see through them at the same time. Open, airy trees act like transparent curtains, adding structure that can organize a small space into rooms or areas of interest and helping us navigate through the space.
A contorted, upright tree like Diana weeping larch is strong enough visually to work as an accent and bold enough to separate a space, yet remains open to what lies beyond it. Diana will eventually reach a height well above eye level, and although it has foliage down to the ground, it wont act as a solid wall, blocking off the rest of the garden. This deciduous conifer has year-round interest, with pendulous, needled branches draping gracefully in summer turning bright golden orange in fall before dropping and exposing a contorted, branching silhouette in winter. It reemerges with soft, tufted, lime green needles in spring.
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Dwarf Flowering Trees To Plant In Small Spaces
- Henry Anise : A 6-to-15-foot evergreen with soft pink flowers
- Kousa dogwood* : A 20-to-30-foot tree thats draped in snow-white or rosy-pink flowers
- Lollipop crabapple : A 10-to-15-foot tree with a slender spread of bushy, white flowers
- Cornelian cherry dogwood* : A slow-growing tree that reaches 25 feet and displays clusters of yellow flowers in very early spring
- Crape myrtle : A 6-to-25-foot tree with a colorful mix of flowers, from pink to red to lavender
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Purple Leaf Sand Cherry
The small purple leaf sand cherry has stunning pink flowers and colorful foliage
The purple leaf sand cherry is a superb small ornamental tree to complement flower beds, container gardens, and compact yards. This gorgeous tree has maroon, purple, or red leaves that provide a stunning contrast with pinkish-white flowers throughout spring. The shrub-like tree grows around 6.5 ft. tall.
The purple leaf sand cherry tree produces clusters of strong-tasting edible berries. The attractive tree is ideal as a specimen tree. Because of its shrubby growth, you can also grow the tree as an evergreen or deciduous hedge. In cooler climates, the lush foliage turns bronze.
Star Magnolia Ornamental Flowering Tree
The small flowering star magnolia tree is a beautiful landscaping tree
The star magnolia is a small flowering tree producing masses of star-shaped, brilliant white flowers in early spring. The eye-catching, gently fragrant flowers have up to 18 petals and measure 4 across. After the white blooms fade, glossy green leaves appear that last throughout the summer until fall.
With its shrub-like growth, the star magnolia is an ideal ornamental tree for small gardens because it is less than 10 feet tall. The star magnolia tree grows around 6.5 ft. tall and wide. Plant the tree in full sun or light shade, sheltered from the wind.
Another dwarf magnolia that grows as a small flowering tree or shrub is the magnolia Susan. This ornamental plant has stunning reddish-purple cup-shaped blossoms. It grows 10 ft. tall and 6.5 ft. wide.
Related reading: How to care for magnolia trees.
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Best Trees For Small Gardens
Discover 20 of the best trees to grow in a small garden, for flowers, fruit and foliage.
When choosing trees for small gardens, it’s important to do your research. Crucially, find out the ultimate height of the tree and how long it takes to reach that height. Some species are slow growing and might initially fit very well in a small garden but over time could dwarf your space, blocking out light and potentially damaging the foundations of your house.
Fortunately, there’s plenty of tree species and cultivars with a compact habit that won’t outgrow their surroundings. A well-chosen tree, positioned effectively, will make a beautiful focal point and provide interest throughout the year. If you only have a patio or balcony, there are also lots of ideal trees for pots. If you want to plant a tree to give you some privacy, consider our recommended screening trees.
What Trees Are Safe To Plant Near House
Many of you are wondering what trees are safe to plant near a house! Before we go to the selection of adequate trees, we want to remind you that regardless of the type. It is always better to plant the tree about 15 feet away from the house. This way, it has enough space to properly grow. Some trees that grow higher might need a bit more space, though, while small trees can be closer to the house.
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Small Trees For Wildlife
Hawthorn hawthorn, Crataegus monogyna, is a wonderful choice for a small garden and one of the most wildlife-friendly trees you can grow. Native to the UK, it’s a caterpillar food plant for a number of moths, bees visit the flowers in spring and birds love the calorie-rich berries in autumn. The species can reach 6-8m in height and there are plenty of cultivars to choose from.
Rowans most rowan trees have pretty, pinnate leaves, complemented by spring flowers and autumn berries. They’re great trees to grow for garden birds such as robins, blackbirds and thrushes, which love the nutrient-rich berries. An excellent choice for a small garden would be the cultivar ‘Rosiness’, which reaches 4m. For a slightly larger space you might consider ‘Eastern Promise’, which can reach 8m.
Crab apples Crab apples are great all-rounders, with plenty of food for wildlife, colourful fruit and spring blossom. Try growing a variety like ‘John Downie’ to make your own crab apple jelly, or an upright variety like ‘Golden Hornet’ to save space.
How Close Can You Plant Trees To A House Anyway
This question all comes down to tree size. After all, the wide-root oak tree thats 70 feet tall needs much more room than the modest Japanese maple.
A good rule of thumb is to start at about 8 to 10 feet away from your home for small trees and scale up to account for the trees mature height and spread.
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Trees For Tight Spaces
Most people have an inborn need to connect with nature. But how do we make this connection in a world where houses are getting bigger and yards are getting smaller? Part of the answer, at least, is by creating gardens in the small allotment of tight spaces outdoors that so many of us have to work with. Even larger properties have small nooks, which seem like impossible spots to plant. But a narrow side yard, a lifeless courtyard, or an uninviting roof deck are all golden opportunities for a petite green space.
Small-space gardeners often encounter three basic problems: The space is jumbled and chaotic, theres no room for variety, and the space doesnt connect to the rest of the landscape. And as some of us have learned from dismal experience, it is better to address as many of these issues early in the game rather than late in the design process.
Small, slow-growing treesthose having all the attributes of larger ones but remaining in scale with an undersize environmentcan form the backbone of small garden spaces. By carefully selecting the correct trees, a dull, wasted space can be transformed into a refuge. Luckily, todays gardeners have a wide array of slow-growing dwarf and semi-dwarf trees that require little or no maintenance yet provide year-round interest with unusual color, shape, texture, bark, flowers, fruit, or cones.
Royal Purple Smoke Tree
This deciduous tree is a perfect choice for adding color and visual interest to a small space. Royal purple smoke trees offer a completely different look than other trees on this list with their feathery plumes and purple-red foliage.
They prefer full sun, part sun or part shade and are drought tolerant, so you can expect to water these regularly before they are established and occasionally after they are established.
You will want to prune them a bit to keep them looking like a tree, rather than a shrub, and to keep them small, but they require little maintenance other than that.
- Botanical name: Cotinus coggygria
- Height at maturity: 10 to 15 feet tall
- Growing conditions: Full or partial sun with well-drained, loamy soils
- Zones: 4 through 9
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Growing A Tree Near Your House
There we have it: A short and sweet introduction to the trees that lend themselves well to growth near to your house.
If you take the time and care to choose a suitable spot, the trees in this list should flourish without causing any long- or short-term damage to your property, your fences, or your neighbours properties.
When deciding which tree to grow near your home, we do advise precaution.
Its a big decision, potentially lasting many years into the future, so its best not to rush.
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What Are The Best Trees To Plant In Your Front Yard
Magnolia, crape myrtle and pink flowering dogwood are some of the best trees to plant in your front yard. Look for trees that do not create a mess or create planting beds around them so the mess is masked by the surrounding plants, suggests certified arborist and garden expert Melinda Myers .
The best tree for your front yard will depend on the size of your yard, amount of growing space you have available as well as the climate and the severity of your summers and winters.
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Small Trees For Autumn Colour
Japanese maples there are lots of small, slow-growing Japanese maples that won’t overcrowd your garden. The foliage provides blazing autumn colour and grows in an attractive shape. Grow them in a sheltered spot, out of direct sun, or try them in a large pot. There are some lovely varieties to choose from, but Acer palmatum‘Orange Dream’ is a particular favourite.
Paperbark maple the paperbark maple, Acer griseum, is a slow-growing small tree with dark green leaves that turn a rich, crimson colour in autumn. Once the leaves have fallen, its trunk and stems provide winter interest, as the chestnut- coloured bark peels away to reveal the new, orange-red bark beneath.
Amelanchier Amelanchier trees, including Amelanchier canadensis and Amelanchier lamarckii, have white, showy blossom in early spring and purple fruit in summer. In autumn, its leaves fade from dark green to gold. Does best in a sunny or part-shady spot in moist soil, and can reach an eventual height of 6m.
Cercis commonly known as redbuds, Cercis trees are grown for their spring and summer blossom, with some cultivars having dramatic bronze or purple foliage, too. Cercis chinensis‘Avondale’ will reach around 3m tall, while Cercis canadensis‘Forest Pansy’ will grow to 8m. Cercis siliquastrum, the Judas tree, reaches 4.5m.
How Close Can You Plant Trees To A House To Avoid Tree Root Problems
Tree root problems affecting your house comes down to tree size. A good rule ofthumb is to start at about 8 to 10 feet away from your home for small trees andscale up to account for the trees mature height and spread. Here are the bestand worst by zone.
Best Trees to Plant Near House
Choose any of the following and you wont have to worry aboutheadaches with tree roots and foundations. Not only are they beautiful trees,they have their non-invasive root systems or low-maintenance cleanup.
- American holly : Alow-maintenance evergreen tree
- American hornbeam :A small, slow-growing member of the birch family
- Cornelian-cherry dogwood: An excellent small tree with lovely flowers
- Crabapple : Ashort, flowering tree that matures at about 20 feet tall.
- Flowering dogwood :A delicate, flowering tree perfect for planting near walls
- Japanese maple : Apopular scarlet-colored tree thats ideal for planting near a patio or curbsidearea
Worst Trees to Plant NearHouse
The trees have widespread, invasive tree roots and foundations are at risk.
Once you find a tree you like, do a little research to seehow fast growing and destructive their roots could be. When you choose theright tree, you save yourself the future stress of tree roots and foundations becoming an issue.
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Smoketree Also Known As Smokebush
Smoketree is actually a group of seven closely related trees that blooms wispy filaments that from a distance look like puffs of smoke: cream, and pink puffs of smoke. It can flourish as a multi-stemmed bush, be trained as a single-trunked tree, or trimmed back every year to the size of a large shrub.
Like the sumacs to which these trees are related, smoketrees bear brilliant wine-red foliage in the fall
Smoke trees are more colorful when they are grown in dry, shallow, unfertilized soil. When they are grown in fertile soil, they tend to die from verticillium wilt. Garden centers may have several varieties of this tree, some with warm pink flowers and others with dark purple leaves.
Smoketrees can be pruned to stay just 5 feet tall, but they naturally grow to a height of 10 to 15 feet. This tree grows best in drier climates in USDA Hardiness Zones 5 through 8.
Considerations When Selecting Trees To Plant Close To Your House
There are many features you should look for in a tree when planting one close to your house. Always keep your own houses needs in mind when deciding.
- Root System: The best tree to plant near your home is one with a small yet stable root system. Larger root systems can impact your foundation, and unstable root systems can put your house at risk from a falling tree.
- Cleanup: Too much natural material on your roof can damage your roof health. Certain trees, such as the linden, can attract bugs.
- Growth Rate and Mature Size: Pay attention to the projected mature height of a tree that you get. One that is too large can hurt your home and foundation.
- : An evergreen tree provides more year-round privacy and shade than a deciduous tree.
- Safety: Some trees, such as cottonwood trees, have a shallow root system that leaves them vulnerable to rotting and instability during storms.
- Shade: Some shade can be a welcome side effect of a tree near your home. However, keep in mind that a shady tree will require you to plant shade-friendly plants underneath.
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Small Trees For Landscaping
- American hornbeam* : A 20-to-30-foot tree with leaves that change vibrantly with the seasons
- Japanese maple* : A popular small-scale tree that can top out at anywhere from 4 feet to 25 feet
- Twisted Growth deodar cedar : A tall, slim evergreen that grows 8 to 15 feet
- Windmill palm : A cold-hardy palm with a texturized trunk that doesnt get too big
The 12 Best Trees For Small Spaces And Front Yards
These small but mighty trees are perfect for a petite front or backyard, patio space or small garden.
All trees marked with an asterisk are excellent options to plant near a house! But remember to provide enough space for your trees canopy to grow. To do that, look up the expected mature crown width, and half it! Plan to place your tree that far away from your home. For example, a tree with an expected 30-foot crown spread should be planted at least 15 feet away from your home.
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Ornamental Cherry Or Plum
The Spruce / Loren Probish
Small, flowering Prunus trees are variously called cherry or plum trees. They typically have dark purple foliage, as well as white, pink, or red flowers, depending on the variety. They are suitable for large containers or raised beds. Some of these trees are susceptible to insect issues and fungal diseases. So prune your tree to slightly thin the branches and improve air circulation, which can help to prevent these problems.
Small varieties of plums include the purple leaf plum , Krauter Vesuvius purple leaf plum , and double pink flowering plum . Small flowering cherry trees include purple leaf sand cherry , Yoshino cherry , ‘Albertii’ , and ‘Okame’ .