The Q&A Archives: The Perfect Ornamental Tree

Question: Infront of my house I have an island of dirt that has a Maple tree on it approx. 4 years old. I am looking to extend and enlarge the island, along with adding an additional ornamental tree. Do you have any suggestions for something that would not get any more than 6-7ft. tall and possibly blossom adding vibrant color to the house?I was thinking of a weeping cherry or a weeping crab tree but my husband thinks these would grow to tall.Any suggestions?

Answer: There are some very small weeping crab varieties available, but these and most other ornamental trees grow best in full sun. In not too long, the maple tree should grow very large and shade the area. It will also compete with other plants for water and nutrients, so in the long run the smaller tree will not do well. You might consider an ornamental shrub instead, since these may be more tolerant of shade and the difficult growing conditions and will also stay closer to the size range you desire. Some to consider might be peegee hydrangea, the dwarf lilac "Miss Kim", red barberry, or a "Snowmound" spirea.

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