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

Dolores has landscaped for private clients, maintained one client's small orchid collection, and keeps 30 houseplants.

Small flowering or evergreen trees beautify a boring landscape.

Small flowering or evergreen trees beautify a boring landscape.

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 layered 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

Tree NameMature 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