Answer: The canopy on a magnolia tree will be about as wide as the tree is tall. Southern magnolias tend to grow 20' tall and wide. This might be crowding the space a bit, considering there's only 20' between the two houses. Other trees that are attractive, moderately fast growing, and have the growth habit to fit in the space you describe include Acacia, Clethra arborea (Lily of the Valley), Drimys winteri, Rhaphiolepis 'Majestic Beauty', and Eriobotrya japonica (loquat). Hope one of these suggestions appeals to you!
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