Small Trees (Under 30 Feet) for a Small Yard or Garden

Updated on July 10, 2018
Dolores Monet profile image

An avid gardener for over 40 years, Dolores has landscaped for private clients and maintained one client's small orchid collection.

Small flowering or evergreen trees beautify a boring landscape.
Small flowering or evergreen trees beautify a boring landscape. | Source

Every neighborhood needs some trees, and every garden or landscape needs a tree or two. Trees take in carbon dioxide and provide us with oxygen, cleaning and freshening the air around us. They soften the sharp edges of buildings and lend curves to the straight lines man has imposed on our view. Even a small tree creates some shade. The dense shade created by the overlapping leaves and boughs of trees is much cooler than, say, an awning.

Just because you have a small yard does not mean that you cannot have a tree. Not all trees are 70-footers, and many tall shrubs can be used like trees or be pruned into a tree-like growth habit.

Below is a selection of small trees and tall shrubs to make your garden, yard, or landscape beautiful. Note that zone numbers refer to the USDA hardiness zones of the continental U.S., which show how cold your area gets in the winter.

The Best Small Trees Suitable for a Small Yard

(click column header to sort results)
Tree Name  
Mature Height (feet)  
Mature Spread (feet)  
Dwarf Height (feet)  
USDA Hardiness Zone  
Apple
20
20
8 to 10
4
Almond
12 to 15
10 to 15
4 to 5
4 to 8
Chaste
10 to 20
10 to 15
3 to 4
7 to 9
Cherry
12 to 15
12 to 15
8 to 10
2 to 8
Cherry Laurel
30
15
3 to 4
7 to 8
Crabapple
20
15
5 to 10
4 to 8
Crape Myrtle
15 to 30
15 to 25
3 to 4
6 to10
Dogwood
10 to 25
20 to 25
4 to 6
3 to 8
Franklin Tree
10 to 25
10 to 15
not available
5 to 8
Chinese Fringe Tree
12 to 20
12 to 20
This is the dwarf variety
4 to 9
Green Hawthorn
30
20 to 30
4
4 to 7
Hornbeam
20 to 30
20
5 to 10
3 to 9
Panicle Hydrangea
10 to 25
8 to 16
3 to 5
3 to 8
Juniper
10 to 15
3 to 5
1
4 to 9 (depending on variety)
Japanese Snowbell
20 to 30
20 to 30
8 to 10
6 to 8
Laburnum (Golden Chain Tree)
15 to 25
9 to 12
3 to 4
5 to 7
Lemon Tree
10 to 20
5 to 10
4 to 5
9 to 11
Lilac
8 to 15
6 to 15
4 to 6
3 to 7
Mountain Stewartia
10 to 15
10 to 15
10
5 to 9
Magnolia
10 to 30 (depending on variety)
10 to 30
These are ranges for dwarf varieties
4 to 9 (depending on variety)
Japanese Red Maple
15 to 25
20
2 to 3
5 to 8
Mimosa or Silk Tree
20 to 30
20 to 30
not available
6 to 9
Pawpaw
15 to 30
15 to 30
4 to 8
5 to 8
Peach
15 to 25
15 to 25
8 to 10
5 to 9
Bartlett Pear
20 to 30
20
10 to 15
5 to 7
Japanese Black Pine
25 to 30
20 to 35
4
5 to 9
Cherry Plum
15 to 25
20
8 to 10
3 to 8
Eastern Redbud
20 to 30
26 to 33
12 to 15
4 to 9
Quince
6 to 10
6 to 10
3
4 to 8
Serviceberry (a.k.a. Juneberry)
15 to 25
15 to 20
10
4 to 9
Carolina Silverbell
15 to 30
15 to 30
not available
4 to 8
Scarlet Buckeye
10 to 20
10 to 20
This is the dwarf variety
6 to 9
Russian Olive
15 to 20
15 to 20
not available
2 to 7
Smoketree
10 to 15
8 to 14
4
4 to 8
Sourwood
25 to 30
20
not available
5 to 9
Conica Spruce
10 to 12
4 to 5
6 to 8
2 to 7
Japanese Stewartia
15 to 30
20 to 25
not available
5 to 8
Sweet Olive
10 to 12
8
4 to 6
8 to 10
Tea Tree
20
20
2
8 to 11
Apple tree
Apple tree | Source

1. Apple

Mature Height: 20 feet

Dwarf Height: 8-10 feet

Zone: 4

Apple trees usually grow up to 20 feet tall while dwarf varieties grow 8 ft. to 10 ft. tall. Many varieties are available, all producing beautiful early spring blossoms. Although some varieties are self-pollinating, it helps to have several other apple trees nearby to be able to produce fruit. You should plant while dormant in full sun and in slightly acidic soil. Most types of apple will fruit in three to five years. Ask your local nursery to find the variety of apple tree best suited to your area.

Almond tree
Almond tree

2. Flowering Almond

Mature Height: 12 to 15 feet

Dwarf Height: 4 to 5 feet

Zones: 4-8

The flowering almond is a small tree or large shrub that grows 12 ft. to 15 ft. tall and is equally wide with a rounded crown. Pink or white flowers bloom in early spring before the leaves emerge. Plant in full sun or partial shade in moist, rich, acidic soil. If you want to prune for shaping, do so right after flowering. Some pruning will increase next season's flowers.

Chaste Tree
Chaste Tree | Source

3. Chaste Tree

Mature Height: 10 to 20 feet

Dwarf Height: 3 to 4 feet

Zones: 7-9

The chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus) grows to 10 ft. or 20 ft. tall and produces lavender-purple flowers in early or mid-spring. The flowers give off a spicy aroma and the leaves smell faintly of sage. Shaping by pruning may be necessary. It grows best in well-drained soil. Flowers emerge from new shoots, so prune lightly at the end of winter.

Cherry tree
Cherry tree

4. Cherry

Mature Height: 12 to 30 feet (depending on variety)

Dwarf Height: 8 to 10 feet

Zones: 2-8 (depending on variety)

Some flowering cherry trees can grow to be quite tall, so check your local gardening center for a smaller variety. Snow Fountain grows up to 12 ft. tall, while Sargent Cherry grows 20-30 ft. tall. Plant in full sun, in moist, well-drained soil. Weeping forms are also available.

Cherry laurel
Cherry laurel | Source

5. Cherry Laurel

Mature Height: 30 feet

Dwarf Height: 3 to 4 feet

Zones: 7-8

Cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) is an evergreen cherry tree with deep green leaves and fragrant white flowers. It grows up to 30 ft. tall. Flowers bloom mid-spring and the tree produces dark berries. Plant in full sun in cool areas, or partial shade in warmer areas, in moist, well-drained soil.

Crabapple trees
Crabapple trees

6. Crabapple

Mature Height: 20 feet

Dwarf Height: 5 to 10 feet

Zones: 4-8

The crabapple produces abundant, beautiful flowers in white, pink, or red and blooms mid-spring. They produce hard little fruits that some people find attractive but others may feel are a nuisance. These slow-growing trees rarely reach over 20 ft. tall, while dwarf varieties grow between 8 ft. and 15 ft. tall. Crabapples are self-pollinating, so they will fruit even if you only plant one. Plant in full sun in well-drained soil.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Crepe Myrtle
Crepe Myrtle
Crepe Myrtle | Source

7. Crape Myrtle

Mature Height: 15 to 30 feet

Dwarf Height: 3 to 4 feet

Zones: 6-10

The Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia) is a tall, beautiful shrub that can stand in as a small tree. It blooms in mid- to late-summer with long-lasting white, pink, red, or lavender blooms. Planting in shade or semi-shade may reduce the amount of blooms. The foliage turns yellow, orange, or red in fall. Attractive exfoliating, patchy bark creates interest in winter. Prune away low-growing branches to create the look of a tree.

Avoid the Langerstroemia speciosa variety—it's gigantic. In the South, some Crape Myrtles will grow larger than expected.

If you want the type that features the most dramatic exfoliating bark look for "Natchez" with its beautiful cinnamon and cream bark, or "Apache" or "Choctaw" with cinnamon and brown bark.

Kousa dogwood
Kousa dogwood | Source

8. Dogwood

There are two types of dogwood that are small and manageable:

Kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa) is a small, cold-tolerant variety that reaches 20 to 30 ft. tall. Flowers range from creamy white to pink. Red fruits appear in fall. (Zone 5-8)

Red osier dogwood (Cornus stolonifera or sericea) is a shrubby species that grows 7-9 ft. tall. Red stems provide winter interest when young, but older branches fade to gray. (Zone 3-8)

Franklin tree
Franklin tree

9. Franklin Tree

Mature Height: 10 to 25 feet

Zones: 5-8

The Franklin tree (Franklinia), named after Benjamin Franklin, should not be grown in its native home in the southeastern United States due to a root disease that makes the tree short-lived in that area. Franklin trees grow from 10 to 25 ft. tall and 6 to 15 ft. wide, producing large, fragrant white flowers. They prefer full sun and moist, well-drained, acidic soil.

Chinese fringe tree
Chinese fringe tree

10. Chinese Fringe Tree

Mature Height: 12 to 20 feet

Zones: 4-9

The fringe tree (Chionanthus) grows from 12 to 20 ft. tall with a broad, rounded form and produces white, fragrant, lacy flowers in spring. Fruit on female trees attracts birds. Plant in full sun to partial shade in moist, well-drained soil. If you must prune to shape, do so right after flowering as the blooms form on the older growth. Tolerant of wind and pollution.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Green Hawthorn"Winter King" green hawthorn
Green Hawthorn
Green Hawthorn | Source
"Winter King" green hawthorn
"Winter King" green hawthorn

11. Green Hawthorn

Mature Height: 15 to 30 feet

Dwarf Height: 4 feet

Zones: 4 - 7

Winter King green hawthorn (Crataegus viridis "Winter King") is an attractive deciduous tree with grayish-green bark that may exfoliate on mature specimens. It grows 15 to 30 feet tall with a similar spread, and is drought-tolerant and resistant to disease, including verticillium Aromatic white flowers appear in spring, and red berries add interest in winter although some people do not like their smell. This variety is thornless despite its name.

Do not plant this tree if there is a cedar or juniper nearby because cedar-hawthorn rust needs both a cedar or juniper and a hawthorn to complete its life cycle. This disease can devastate both trees.

Hornbeam
Hornbeam

12. Hornbeam

Mature Height: 20 to 30 feet

Dwarf Height: 5 to 10 feet

Zones: 3 - 9

American hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana), also called ironwood, grows 20 to 30 ft. tall and has beautiful deep-green leaves that turn from yellow to red in fall. Plant in full sun to partial shade in acidic, moist, well-drained soil, and prune in late winter.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Panicle Hydrangea
Panicle Hydrangea
Panicle Hydrangea

13. Panicle Hydrangea

Mature Height: 10 to 25 feet

Dwarf Height: 3 to 5 feet

Zones: 3-8

Hydrangeas are beautiful flowering shrubs, and panicle hydrangeas can work as small trees, growing up to 25 feet tall and wide. They produce tiny flowers that grow in large clusters, which start out white in July and then turn a dusty rose as summer progresses. This hardy shrub should be planted in sun to partial shade in rich, moist, well-drained soil.

Japanese snowbell
Japanese snowbell

14. Japanese Snowbell

Mature Height: 20 to 30 feet

Dwarf Height: 8 to 10 feet

Zones: 6-8

The Japanese Snowbell is a deciduous tree with horizontal branches that boasts drooping white, bell-like flowers. The leaves turn yellow during fall, and the flowers emit a sweet fragrance. It makes for a gorgeous ornamental tree.

Juniper
Juniper | Source

15. Juniper

Mature Height: 10 to 15 feet

Dwarf Height: 1 feet

Zones: 4-9 (depending on variety)

All junipers are evergreen with tiny, scale-like foliage. They produce small, hard, blue to blue-green berries with a fresh scent.

Hollywood juniper grows from 10 to 15 feet tall in full sun or partial shade in a unique, twisting form. It is a drought-tolerant, low-maintenance, hardy shrub that can stand in as a tree. Hollywood juniper takes well to pruning for shape and can be planted closer to walls than other trees and large shrubs for an interesting effect (Zones 5 - 9).

Skyrocket juniper grows 10 to 15 feet tall in a narrow column with dusty blue-green foliage. It is drought-resistant and maintenance-free (Zones 4 - 7).

Golden Chain Tree
Golden Chain Tree | Source

16. Laburnum (Golden Chain Tree)

Mature Height: 15 to 25 feet

Dwarf Height: 3 to 4 feet

Zones: 5-7

This gorgeous tree produces cascading clusters of bright-yellow pea flowers that are unfortunately short-lived. Interestingly, all parts of the tree are poisonous, although mortality rate is low.

Lemon tree
Lemon tree | Source

17. Lemon Tree

Mature Height: 10 to 20 feet

Dwarf Height: 8 to 10

Zones: 9-11

This is a tree that is often found in many backyards. The lemon tree has fragrant flowers and leaves, and of course, provide fresh fruit that can be used in a vast variety of dishes and drinks. Miniature lemon trees can be grown in pots and will not reach a height over 10 feet if pruned.

Lilac tree
Lilac tree | Source

18. Lilac

Mature Height: 8 to 15 feet

Dwarf Height: 4 to 6 feet

Zones: 3 - 7

Lilac is a large shrub with showy, highly aromatic spring blooms. Flowers may be white or shades of pink, purple, lavender, and lilac. The leaves are susceptible to powdery mildew in hot, humid summers. Plant in full sun in well-drained soil. Prune to remove unwanted or dead twigs and branches.

Star magnolia
Star magnolia | Source

19. Magnolia

Mature Height: 10 to 30 feet (depending on variety)

Zones: 4-9 (depending on variety)

Star magnolia is a smaller variety of magnolia that produces beautiful, white, star-shaped flowers in early spring. The flowers are fragrant and long lasting. This variety grows up to 20 feet tall with similar spread. It is also cold and heat tolerant. Plant in full sun to partial shade in moist, well-drained soil (Zones 4 - 8).

Saucer magnolia grows 20 to 30 feet tall and 20 feet wide, producing large pinkish-purple flowers in early spring. Plant this cold-hardy magnolia in a sheltered area in full sun and moist, well-drained soil (Zones 5 - 9).

Sweet bay magnolia grows 10 to 20 feet tall with a shrubby growth habit, producing fragrant, creamy white flowers in late spring. It is evergreen in warmer areas but deciduous in colder ones (Zones 5 - 9).

20. Japanese Red Maple

Mature Height: 15 to 25 feet

Dwarf Height: 2 to 3 feet

Zones: 5 - 8

Japanese maple is a slow-growing small tree with an interesting growth habit that makes it attractive in winter. Many varieties are available. Beautiful, intricate, delicate leaves make the Japanese Maple a real focal point in a garden. Foliage ranges from green to deep red; some leaves are light green with red edges. Plant in partial shade in moist, acidic, well-drained soil. Protect Japanese maples from harsh afternoon summer sun.

Japanese red maple
Japanese red maple | Source
Mountain Stewartia
Mountain Stewartia | Source

21. Mountain Stewartia

Mature Height: 10 to 15 feet

Dwarf Height: 10 feet

Zone: 5-9

The Mountain Stewartia is a deciduous small tree or large shrub that produces beautiful white flowers in July. It grows 10 to 15 feet tall and is best grown in full sun to part shade in moisture, well-drained soil.

Pawpaw leaves and fruit
Pawpaw leaves and fruit | Source

22. Pawpaw

Mature Height: 15 to 30 feet

Dwarf Height: 4 to 8 feet

Zones: 5-8

Pawpaw (Asimina triloba) is a fruit tree with a tropical appearance, but surprisingly, it is native to North America. Purple mid-spring blooms give way to green fruits that ripen to black with a pear/banana taste. Leaves turn a beautiful gold in fall. Plant at least two trees for pollination. Prune off low-growing branches to give this shrubby tree a more tree-like appearance. Plant in full sun to partial shade in loose soil.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Peach treePeach tree
Peach tree
Peach tree
Peach tree
Peach tree | Source

23. Peach

Mature Height: 15 to 25 feet

Dwarf Height: 8 to 10

Zones: 5 - 9

Peach trees have dark-green leaves that provide a beautiful contrast to the attractive mid-spring flowers and the brilliant mid- to late summer fruit. Plant in full sun in moist, well-drained soil. Mulch to protect the shallow roots, and prune in late winter. Be aware that peach trees are susceptible to late frost damage and severe winter cold. Plant two or more trees for pollination.

Pear tree
Pear tree | Source

24. Bartlett Pear

Mature Height: 20 to 30 feet

Dwarf Height: 10 to 15 feet

Zones: 5-7

The common pear tree grows 20 to 30 feet tall and 20 feet wide, producing early spring flowers before the glossy green foliage appears. Dwarf varieties grow 10 to 15 feet tall. Pear trees are not drought-tolerant and need plenty of water in summer. Plant a second pear tree for pollination if you want the tree to produce fruit.

Japanese black pine
Japanese black pine | Source

25. Japanese Black Pine

Mature Height: 15 to 25 feet tall

Dwarf Height: 4 feet

Zones: 5 - 8

Japanese black pine is tolerant of heat, drought, and coastal salt spray. It accepts heavy pruning for shape. Plant in full sun and in moist, well-drained soil.

Cherry Plum
Cherry Plum | Source

26. Cherry Plum

Mature Height: 15 to 25 feet

Dwarf Height: 8 to 10 feet

Zones: 3-8

Cherry plum (Prunus cerasifera) is native to Asia and has distinctive reddish-purple leaves. The pretty white or pink flowers that bloom in early spring make the cherry plum a lovely tree for landscapes. Plant in full sun in moist, well-drained soil.

Eastern redbud
Eastern redbud | Source

27. Eastern Redbud

Mature Height: 20 to 30 feet

Dwarf Height: 12 to 15 feet

Zones: 4-9

Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis) grows 20 to 30 feet tall and wide with rosy, pinkish-purple blooms in mid-spring followed by heart-shaped green leaves. Its attractive form provides winter interest. Plant in full sun to partial shade in moist, well-drained soil. Eastern redbud is native and tolerates a variety of soil conditions.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Quince treeQuince in flower
Quince tree
Quince tree
Quince in flower
Quince in flower | Source

28. Quince

Mature Height: 6 to 10 feet

Dwarf Height: 3 feet

Zones: 4-8

Flowering quince grows 6 to 10 feet tall and wide, producing bright scarlet, pink, or white blossoms in spring. Some varieties bloom again in fall. It's important to note that tangled branches and sharp spines may detract from its usefulness in small spaces. Fall-ripened fruit can be used to make jelly or jam. Prune after flowering to maintain shape.

Serviceberry
Serviceberry | Source

29. Serviceberry (a.k.a. Juneberry)

Mature Height: 15 to 25 feet

Dwarf Height: 10 feet

Zones: 4 - 9

Serviceberry (Amelanchier) grows 15 to 25 feet tall and 15 to 20 feet wide. This large shrub can be pruned to tree form. Fragrant white flowers appear early to late spring, and edible berries emerge in late spring and last into late summer, attracting birds. Tolerant of a variety of soils and drought.

Silk tree or "mimosa"
Silk tree or "mimosa" | Source

30. Silk Tree (Mimosa)

Mature Height: 20 to 30 feet

Zones: 6-9

The silk tree, otherwise known as mimosa tree (Albizia julibrissin), grows 20-30 feet tall and wide. It is exotic-looking with fern-like foliage and feathery-pink flowers that attract hummingbirds in mid- to late-summer. Blooms can be quite aromatic and are adaptable to harsh environments. Keep in mind that this Asian tree can be invasive in many areas.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Carolina Silverbell(wikimedia commons; photo by Chrumps)
Carolina Silverbell
Carolina Silverbell
(wikimedia commons; photo by Chrumps)
(wikimedia commons; photo by Chrumps)

31. Carolina Silverbell

Mature Height: 30 feet

Zones: 4-8

Carolina silverbell (Halesia carolina) grows to 30 feet tall and almost as wide, producing clusters of tiny white bell-shaped flowers in mid-spring. It is native to the Piedmont area of the eastern United States. Plant in full sun to partial shade in moist, well-drained soil. It will not tolerate intense heat or alkaline soil. Compost and mulch regularly.

Brilliant red blooms of Scarlet Buckeye
Brilliant red blooms of Scarlet Buckeye | Source

32. Red or Scarlet Buckeye

Mature Height: 10 to 20 feet

Zones: 6-9

Red buckeye (Aesculus pavia) grows 10 to 20 feet tall and wide in full sun or partial shade, but full sun encourages a better bloom. The good news is it can tolerate many soil conditions. Tubular scarlet flowers grow on panicles (upright clusters) in April to May, attracting hummingbirds on their northward migration. The fruit is toxic, so be careful! Foliage erupts early in spring in 5-7 leaflets.

Russian olive
Russian olive | Source

33. Russian Olive

Mature Height: 15 to 20 feet

Zones: 2-7

The Russian Olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) from central Asia grows to be 15 to 20 ft. tall and wide with a rounded form and beautiful silvery-green foliage. Tiny flowers emerge in spring. This tree prefers dry climates, and tolerates salt and drought, but dislikes extreme heat and humidity.

Even though I've included this tree on the list, if you live in the U.S., I advise not to plant it. Russian olive is considered a highly invasive species in the U.S.

Smoketree
Smoketree | Source

34. Smoketree

Mature Height: 10 to 15 feet

Dwarf Height: 4 feet

Zones: 4-8

The Smoketree (Cotinus coggygria) grows 10 to 15 feet tall and wide, producing fine, light-purple, feathery flowers in June. With blue-green to purplish foliage, this shrubby tree can be pruned to look like a traditional tree form. Plant in full sun, in moist, well-drained soil. Prune older branches in early spring to encourage growth.

Sourwood tree
Sourwood tree | Source

35. Sourwood

Mature Height: 25 to 30 feet

Zones: 5-9

Sourwood (Oxydendrum) has deep-green, fragrant leaves. It is a summer-flowering plant with long-lasting 10-inch blooms. The leaves turn a range of colors in fall. You should mulch to retain moisture and protect its shallow roots.

The Small evergreen tree: Conica Spruce
The Small evergreen tree: Conica Spruce

36. Conica Spruce

Mature Height: 10 to 12 ft. tall

Dwarf Height: 6 to 8

Zones: 2-7

Conica spruce is a dwarf white spruce with light-green needles. The dwarf Arneson's blue spruce features blue-green needles. Both are varieties of the Alberta spruce (Picea glauca), a hardy evergreen with a classic pyramid form. Plant in full sun to partial shade in moist, well-drained, slightly acidic soil.

Korean Stewartia
Korean Stewartia | Source

37. Korean Stewartia

Mature Height: 20 to 30 feet

Zones: 5-7

Korean Stewartia is a smaller version of Japanese stewartia that produces lovely white blooms in July. Their attractive medium-to-dark green foliage turns red in fall. The exfoliating bark is patchy and has a reddish brown, green, gray, and orange color, which makes a dramatic statement in winter months. Plant in sun with some afternoon shade in moist, well-drained, acidic soil. Mulch and water during hot, dry spells.

Sweet Olive tree
Sweet Olive tree | Source

38. Sweet Olive

Mature Height: 10 to 12 ft. tall

Dwarf Height: 4 to 6 feet

Zones: 8-10

Sweet olive (Osmanthus fragrans) is actually a shrub from subtropical Asia that produces aromatic flowers. It can grow up to 20 feet but is most often seen at 10 to 12 feet with an 8-foot spread. Plant in full sun to partial shade in any soil. It takes well to pruning, and you can pinch back the dark-green leaves to encourage new growth.

Tea trees
Tea trees | Source

39. Tea Tree

Mature Height: 20 feet

Dwarf Height: 2 feet

Zones: 8-11

The tea tree (Melaleuca linarifolia) grows up to 20 ft. tall and 12 ft. wide. Native to Australia, the tea tree has aromatic, evergreen leaves and produces tiny white, pink, or red flowers from late winter into summer. It enjoys western coastal areas and is drought tolerant when mature. Plant in full sun, and prune lightly after flowering.

Small Flowering Trees for a Colorful Landscape

  • Kobushi Magnolia
  • Royal Empress
  • Crape Myrtle
  • Pink Dogwood
  • Royal Poinciana Tree
  • Jacaranda
  • Plumeria
  • Angel Trumpet

How to Plant a Tree or Shrub

Questions & Answers

  • What zone is Quad Cities, Illinois?

    Find your plant zone by checking out the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. It divides the country according to low winter temperatures. Quad Cities falls in 5b with annual cold temperatures that fall between - 10 and

    - 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • What small tree grows well in the south?

    Check out the US Plant Hardiness Zone. Locate the area in which you live to find your zone. This will help you find out what plants thrive in your area. Then read the above article which states plant zones for each item. You can also contact your local agricultural extension agent for suggestions.

    Choosing the best small tree for your area also depends on soil conditions, drainage, and sunlight. There are plants that work well in an urban setting, seaside area, or in a particular altitude. The south is a big place so be specific in your setting to find the best small tree for you.

  • What is the best time to plant a pink dogwood tree?

    The best time to plant a pink dogwood tree is in early spring before the buds emerge. While many people also suggest a fall planting, a spring planting gives the young tree more time to establish itself.

    Before you introduce a pink dogwood to your garden, take a look at the US Planting Zone map which you can find online. You want to make sure that the tree will thrive in your area. Dogwoods prefer slightly acidic soil.

    Also, take a look around your area. I live in an area considered appropriate for dogwoods, but none reach maturity here. Pink dogwoods are susceptible to a variety of diseases, and the presence of disease in a particular area means that it would not be a good idea to plant one.

    Pink dogwoods thrive in US zones 5 - 9. Plant partial shade. Dig a hole as deep and twice as wide as the root ball. Mix half your native soil with loose, rich garden soil or compost. Make a small mound in the center of the hole.

    Soak the root ball in water for an hour before planting. Set the tree in the hole. Make sure that it is straight. Fill in with amended soil and firm down. Water. Mulch without letting the mulch touch the bark.

    Water deeply twice a week (unless you get a deep, soaking rain) until the plant becomes established. New leaves mean that it has become established. Cut back to once a week watering.

  • What small trees grow well in lower Michigan?

    If by "lower Michigan" you mean the Southern Peninsula, there are several plant zones. Climates can be quite different depending on altitude, proximity to a large body of water, urban areas, etc. Find a US Plant Hardiness Map for your state, then locate the area in which you live.

    You may want to be cautious when deciding on a tree. Zones reflect the low winter temperatures of each climate area. As some winters are colder than others, like the winters of 2014 and 2015 in Michigan, you want to be a bit cautious. I would choose a tree from one area down or the next coldest zone just in case you have colder than usual winter temperatures.

  • What small trees grow well in New Hampshire?

    New Hampshire experiences a wide range of low temperatures. To understand which small tree will thrive in your yard, you need to check the USDA Plant Zone map. Look closely at the map of your state and find the area in which you live.

    The zone map has divided New Hampshire into six zones. This map features different numbers for different areas. The northernmost part of the state lies in Zone 3b while Concord and Manchester are in Zone 5b.

    If that sounds confusing, think of it this way - the lowest winter temperatures will vary according to each area of the state. For instance, low winter temperatures will be colder in the mountains than in coastal, urban, and low lying areas.

    Once you determine the zone in which you live, then you can find trees and plants that will live through the winter. For example, Cherry, Dogwood, Hornbeam, and Conica spruce are appropriate for planting in zone 3 which is very cold. But if you live in a warmer section of the state, your options increase.

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    • rainaelf profile image

      Mari S Adkins 

      5 months ago from Lexington

      I'm about to buy a house, and I love, love paw paws. Very timely. Thank you!

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      7 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Heather - your demands are quite specific which make a selection complicated. (I've been through this several times and find it best to be specific to avoid future problems).

      A Carrotwood tree grows 30 - 40 feet tall with a 20 foot spread. It is evergreen with leathery leaves and provides great shade. It's a nice, tidy tree but can be invasive in some areas.

      For the best information, contact your local extension agent. All states have an agricultural department with agents who have knowledge of your particular area and can help you make an informed selection.

    • profile image

      Heather in Zone 9 

      7 months ago

      Hi Dolores, we had to remove a lovely camphor tree as it was too near our home's foundation. We are looking for a small tree with a canopy shape that will be safe 10 feet from the house to replace the beloved but invasive camphor. Evergreen is preferable. Any ideas? Soil drains well.

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      13 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Kari - your best bet may be to contact your state extension service. Planting zones are all about temperature and I can see that Zone 8b crosses all kinds of climate areas, from quite damp to arid. So your climate will have a lot to do with your selection. You can also check out a local nursery for suggestions. Do not go to a big box store or chain hardware store. There are several dwarf spruces and dwarf white pines that grow in your zone, but it would be best to check more locally. Good luck!

    • profile image

      Kari 

      13 months ago

      I'm looking to plant a "Christmas Tree" looking tree. Full Sun, Zone 8b. Preferably no more than 10-15' when mature. Any recommendations?

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      18 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi SuchiRoll - a linden tree, while highly aromatic, is not a small tree. If you want to provide for bees, you should find websites that center on the best plants in your area for bees. You should include trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants with a variety of bloom times so that flowers occur from Spring until Fall.

    • profile image

      SushiRoll 

      18 months ago

      We had a small fragrant tree in upstate NewYork that I thought was a 'Linden' tree. I need/want additional nectar plants for our honeybees here in Tidewater Virginia and thought the Linden might help. We loved its habit and the blossoms were delightful! Any information or suggestions?

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      21 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Karla - I would avoid anything that is so invasive. It may seem like a good idea for a privacy hedge but an invasive plant follows its own rules, not yours. You may just be introducing trouble.

    • profile image

      Karla 

      21 months ago

      Hi, What do you think about Indian Laurel Figs? The ones shaped into cut in columns and used as privacy walls. Are the roots damaging?

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      22 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Nicola - what tree will work best for you depends on your climate and other factors. For instance, although dogwoods grow in my zone, for some reason they just don't work in my neighborhood. Check out a local nursery, not a big box store or chain, and ask the folks there. They should know what will work best in your area. 15 feet is very small for a tree. There might be a small variety of crepe myrtle or stewartia that would work. Think about planting a shrub instead! Pee gee hydrangeas grow to about 15 feet. They take pruning well. The flowers are beautiful and last for a long time, appearing in summer and lasting until late fall.

    • profile image

      Nicola 

      22 months ago

      Hi, what tree can I plant in a garden with non invasive roots and grows no more than 15' high? Must have pretty blossom/flowers. Any advice?

    • profile image

      Yvonne Rojas 

      22 months ago

      I live in South Carolina. The heat in the summertime is intense. What kinds of tree can I plant behind my house? I'm looking for something that can withstand heat and full sun, whose roots won't destroy the city sewer lines/pipes.

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      2 years ago from East Coast, United States

      isabella - Blue Surprise Port Orford Cedar or Blue Surprise Lawson's Cypress grows to 8 feet tall and 2 - 3 feet wide. It is hardy to - 15 degrees Fahrenheit. The foliage is an attractive blue/green.

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      2 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Ginkgo Rick - well gee whiz thanks for the appreciation! Sure you can use it - information is for everyone. You might not want to copy it word for word though. Sounds like a very interesting pamphlet. We all need more trees around. City streets are so beautiful with the addition of trees! What a wonderful project!

    • profile image

      Ginkgo Rick 

      2 years ago

      Dolores - I am with the Rensselaer Urban Forestry Council. We are a non-for-profit group planting and caring for our urban forest in our home town of Rensselaer, Indiana. We are putting together a pamphlet of small trees for yards and trees to be planted under power lines at no charge. We wanted to know if we may use some of your information in our pamphlet to be handed out in our community. We will list you and your article in our pamphlet.

      Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

      Ginkgo Rick

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      4 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Emurz - thank you for your comment. I get my information from books and found the Russian olive in 2 of my gardening books. I have always said that the best information is found in books, especially if you are looking for facts. Recently, I was looking at a book that claimed one picture to have been taken in the late 1800's when it was clearly (from the clothing of subjects and the appearance of an automobile in the background) from the 1920's.

      I have added the fact that the plant is considered invasive. Better to add the info than remove the tree from the list. Thanks again!

    • profile image

      Emurz2000 

      4 years ago

      Russian olive? Seriously? You lost some credibility there. It is a highly invasive species and a terrible looking and smelling shrub at that!

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      7 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Ria - that sounds so pretty but, eventually, the tree will put the lavender in shade. Lavender needs a dry, sunny location. Thanks!

    • profile image

      Ria 

      7 years ago

      Do you know whether I can put a ring of lavender around the base of a very young ornamental cherry tree????

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Kate - some people have a problem with the flowers of mimosa falling and making a mess, though I have not had that problem. It can be considered invasive, or a weed tree, in some areas, but I think mainly in the South. Here is a site that features a list of invasive plants of British Columbia. Check it out for invasive species in your area. I didn't see a mimosa tree on this list. Thank you for your interest in the topic!

      http://www.geog.ubc.ca/biodiversity/eflora/Invasiv...

    • profile image

      Kate Mayne Island, BC 

      8 years ago

      Hi Dolores,

      Thank you so much for this wonderful list and explanations. I have a number on your list already and love them but here is my question...I bought a Mimosa the other day mainly because it is drought tolerant, however, have since learned that it is sometimes considered a nuisance tree. Does this mean that in my zone 8b (Southern Gulf Islands, British Columbia) I should not plant it? I would not like to crowd out the native trees in my rural area.

      Kind regards,

      Kate

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Kimberly, very good advice. We all need to think before we plant. Thanks for the helpful comment!

    • profile image

      Kimberly 

      8 years ago

      When planting trees one always have to keep in mind the size of the tree at maturity. I see all too often people planting a grouping of trees much too close together. Trees need their own space in order to develop a nice canopy and if crowded, will force their main growth upwards forming a funnel shape canopy. Always provide the necessary room for proper growth.

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Garden, thanks for the great tips.

    • profile image

      Garden Leaf Blower 

      8 years ago

      I have been planting trees for over 7 years (its my job) and there is some really great advice here.

      Here a few of my tips on planting trees:

      1. Make sure that the tree you are considering does not have an invasive root system, especially if you will be planting it near your house foundation, concrete patio, or septic system.

      2. Be sure the tree is not overly messy. Some trees shed quite a few seed pods, twigs, or nuts each year and can create a lot of work.

      3. Find out how high the tree will be when it matures. Trees that are higher than the house could be potentially hazardous.

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