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Trees for Small Spaces
Small spaces in the landscape create an extra challenge for gardeners and landscapers who want to plant a tree. Whether you’re looking at a small front yard tree or a tiny ornamental by a front door, planting the correct tree will make the space inviting and low maintenance for years to come. Here is a list of some smaller trees for both scenarios and how large they get.
If you have a small front yard in full sun some trees to consider include the Oklahoma Redbud which grows 15 to 18 tall and wide. Texas White Buds are similar but bloom white instead of pink in the spring. The Ivory Silk Lilac Tree is a slightly more unusual white blooming tree that grows 20 feet tall and 15 feet wide. Both Flame Amur Maples (growing 15 to 20 feet tall and 15 feet wide) and Hot Wings Tartarian Maple (growing 15-18 feet tall and wide) put on a show in the fall. There is also a large selection of crabapple trees that work well for a small front yard. A few notable selections include the Spring Snow which is fruitless, blooms white and grows to 20 to 25 feet tall and 15 to 20 feet wide, the Prairiefire which blooms purplish and grows to 20 feet tall and wide, and Royal Raindrops which also blooms purplish, has purple new growth and grows to 20 feet tall and 15 feet wide.
For extremely small spaces, there are several options for sun and a few for shade. The Little Twist Cherry blooms in the spring and only grows to 6 feet tall and wide. Rose of Sharon’s can be tree form and their flowers can have a variety of colors and open in the summer. They grow to 8 to 10 feet tall and 5 to 6 feet wide. Lilacs can also be a tree form. Dwarf Korean Lilacs bloom light purple in the spring and grow 8-10 feet tall and 5 to 7 feet wide. Bloomerang lilacs offer two seasons of blooms as they rebloom in the fall. They grow to 6 to 7 tall and wide. There are a few crabapples that stay smaller for tiny spaces as well. Cinderella blooms white and grows 7 to 10 feet tall and 6-4 feet wide. Sargentina also blooms white and grows 6 feet tall and 6 to 8 feet wide. Dwarf ginkos are unusual and also stay small. Turning bright yellow in the fall, they can range from 3 to 10 feet tall and wide and grow extremely slowly.
For shady locations, Japanese maples are a favorite garden plant. There are hundreds of varieties but a few noteworthy ones include Bloodgood with its purple leaves. It grows to 10 to 15 feet tall and wide. Shishigashira or Lion’s Mane is an unusual Japanese Maple with crinkly green leaves that turn bright red in the fall. They grow to 12 feet tall and 8 feet wide. Crimson Queen is a red lacey leaved Japanese Maple that grows 5 to 7 feet tall and wide. For the shade, hydrangea trees such as Limelight and Quickfire also offer large blooms in the shade and grow to 6 to 8 feet tall and wide.