The Q&A Archives: Dwarf Trees For Borders

Question: Can you recommend some small flowering trees to include in my perennial border? For example, does the Dwarf Ornamental Willow Tree flower or have pink leaves? How long does it have the pink color?

Answer: Small flowering trees are a great additional to perennial borders. Not only do they add a new dimension with their height, but the shade they offer permits you to include other perennials which could not be in a sunny border.

By Dwarf Ornamental Willow Tree, I think you are referring to the shrub Salix integra "Hakuro Nishiki" which is often pruned into single-stemmed tree form. An eye-catcher, its leaves are mottled with pink and white early in the season, but their color often fades to green as the season progresses. Still it's stunning when it is budding out.

Other good choices of small flowering trees are the Redbud (Cercis), Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa), Cornelian Cherry (Cornus mas), Smoketree (Cotinus coggygria), Magnolias, Crabapples (Malus)-be sure to get a scab resistant variety, and Japanese Flowering Cherry (Prunus serruluta). Some of these trees have additional features besides their flowers which may include fall leaf color or showy fruit and berries.

Adding these extra dimensions to the perennial border makes for a much more interesting garden. Have fun!

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